The State government is planning to increase the number of seats in the postgraduate specialist medical courses this year, Health Secretary V.K. Subburaj said here on Thursday.

Speaking at a function organised to mark the 75th anniversary of the Barnard Institute of Radiology and Oncology at the Government General Hospital, he said that in the coming academic year medical colleges would admit 300 students in various specialty postgraduate courses.

The Health Department has also purchased Rs.10 crore worth digital X-rays for 10 medical institutions, including some taluka hospitals.

The delay in getting new equipment for the hospitals was not due to fund constraint but was a procedural issue, he said.

New equipment need suitable buildings and technicians had to be trained to adhere to proper safety procedures.

These procedural details had to be handled before the equipment is provided for use, Mr. Subburaj said, unveiling the statue of Captain T.W. Barnard. (Capt. Barnard had been chosen by the British government to set up the Institute of Radiology at the GH.)

His daughter Barbara King handed over the silver salver presented to her father on his retirement in 1940 from the hospital.

The salver has the signatures of doctors who worked in the Institute at that time. Ms.King recalled her father's work in India and returned the salver to Hospital Dean J. Mohanasundaram, saying the memento should remain with the hospital where her father had served for six years.

Books, souvenirreleased

On the occasion, two books, Diagnostic Atlas of Paediatric Imaging and Radiology Physics, a textbook on radiology safety, and a souvenir of the department were launched.

Director of the Institute M. Prabakaran traced the history of the Institute and said the salver and the statue would be installed at the Institute building. Dr. Mohanasundaram and Tamil Nadu Medical Service Corporation's Managing Director Sandeep Saxena spoke.

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