The Madras Medical College is exploring the possibility of a tie-up with Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, U.S. to facilitate faculty and student exchange and improve research programmes.

As a first step, U.S. Consul General Andrew T. Simkin and Health attaché at the U.S. Consulate Deborah Edwards visited MMC and the Government General Hospital here on Wednesday. The visitors were taken around the college, including the heritage building and the hospital. The visit was arranged by MMC's Alumni Association and Friends of USA.

They held a meeting with the heads of various departments in the Government General Hospital, which is attached to the MMC. Principal Secretary, Health, V.K. Subburaj, Dean J. Mohanasundaram and senior hospital and college officials were present. The move is expected to benefit MMC and the American university, say Health officials. While the General Hospital here will provide the clinical material, the foreign university would provide technology input to help improve treatment modalities and ultimately research, Dr. Mohanasundaram said.

M.K. Ranganathan, founder president of Friends of USA, who was also part of the visiting team, said the tie-up is the first of its kind between government-owned hospitals in both countries. Initiated by G. Viswanathan, founder-Chancellor of Vellore Institute of Technology, the meeting was arranged in Chennai “to formalise a MoU during the visit of US President Barack Obama,” Mr. Ranganathan said.

According to MMC Alumni Association secretary M. Arulpitchai Narayanan, the MoU will also focus on strengthening the library. “Even analysing the data would provide a wealth of information,” he said, adding that the tie-up would provide Indian doctors a platform to showcase their expertise in treating challenging cases through international medical journals.

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R. SujathaJune 28, 2012