The Anaesthesia department of Madras Medical College (MMC) was on Friday upgraded the Institute of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care.

The anaesthesia units at MMC and Madurai Medical College are the only two departments to have been upgraded Institutes.

Launching the Institute along with a haemophilia clinic and a palliative care centre at MMC, Health Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam called for a conscious research orientation to go with better quality of patient care.

Noting there was no dearth of research grants from the Centre, the Minister wanted the Institute to engage in scientific projects that would eventually benefit the patients.

Improved ratio

The government had been strengthening health infrastructure and increasing seats at the PG level, Mr. Panneerselvam said. The teacher-student ratio for PG courses was being revised to 2:1 (two students under one professor).

The government is also scaling up pilots on early screening for cervical cancer and hypertension across all districts, Mr. Panneerselvam said. The early detection would be linked to the Kalaignar Insurance Scheme for Life Saving Treatments.

While the government was trying to do its part in improving healthcare for the population, doctors too should reciprocate by putting in dedicated service, he said.

News letter

Launching an anaesthesia news letter, Principal Secretary (Health) V.K. Subburaj said following the upgrade, the Institute would gain better recognition through scientific work and also get a bigger outlay to chart out its growth.

Noting there was acute dearth of anaesthetists, Mr. Subburaj called for launching DM courses in anaesthesiology to generate qualified manpower in the long-term. As a short-term remedy, the State had been successfully implementing a Central programme to train MBBS doctors in the basics of anaesthesiology.

V. Kanagasabai, Director of Medical Education, said the success of surgery programmes of a hospital was built on the strength of its anaesthesia infrastructure.

J. Mohanasundaram, MMC Dean, said anaesthesia had come out from its unsung speciality status to leadership position in critical care management.

C. Veni, Medical Superintendent, Government General Hospital, C. R. Kanyakumari, Director-in-Charge of the Institute, and T. Venkatachalam, anaesthetist, spoke.