Appealing to the medical practitioners settled abroad to return to India, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday said there was a huge demand for teaching faculty in the country as a result of the expansion of medical education.

Speaking at the annual convocation of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here, Mr. Azad said six AIIMS-like institutions were being set up in different parts of the country, for which the government would soon start recruitment of faculty and other professionals so that they could be further trained from the best medical institutions before they started teaching at the newly created institutions that would become functional from the next academic year.

“We have given recognition to the degrees and teaching experience gained by doctors of Indian origin from English-speaking countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate my appeal that the Indian doctors settled abroad should come back to serve their country,” Mr Azad said.

He said that with the launch of the National Rural Health Mission, the demand for human resources had gone up manifold, but the distribution of health professionals in the country was skewed.

Advocating the need to revamp the governance structure at AIIMS to meet the newer challenges, societal needs and demands, Mr. Azad said, the Indian Institute of Managament-Ahmedabad had been engaged to help in streamlining the management procedures at AIIMS.

“I would urge the management of AIIMS, faculty and other staff to seize this opportunity to put in a place a responsive and efficient governance system,” he said.

Recounting the number of facilities that have been added at the AIIMS in the recent past, he said it now had a fully functional apex trauma centre, a well-equipped cancer centre and a full-fledged Dental Research Centre.

Pointing out that the government had always been liberal in providing the required resources to the institute to strengthen and expand itself to meet the new challenges, Mr. Azad said he expected the AIIMS to rise to meet the newer challenges of affordable care, cutting-edge treatment, piloting new approaches in health care delivery and finding solutions for care of new disease.

A planned and systematic expansion of the AIIMS was under way and it would be soon setting up new facilities on the Masjid Moth campus.