Eminent doctors honoured during the silver jubilee celebrations of Dr. MGR Medical University

Since a qualified and competent general practitioner (GP) plays a pivotal role in efficient healthcare delivery, it is necessary for the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University to consider introducing the concept of “qualified general practitioners” and make the training of a GP a “specialist/speciality” with mandatory up-gradation through continuing medical education programmes, said V. Shanta, chairman of Cancer Institute.

“The Australian health delivery system where no specialist is permitted to see a patient unless referred to by a competent GP can be useful,” Dr. Shanta said in her convocation address on Friday. Touching on the various aspects of medical education, she said acute shortage of seats in government colleges had led to the proliferation of self-financing educational institutions, “where seats cost a fortune and financial capacity rather than merit decides the issue.” She urged them to “conform to altruistic standards and not degenerate into instruments of exploitation.”

She emphasised the need to follow the medical code of ethics, a message that Health Minister and University pro-chancellor V.S. Vijay also conveyed to the new graduates. Dr. Vijay, who delineated the various efforts of the State government to improve the health of citizens, told the students to “follow the codes of medical ethics and serve in rural areas at least for some time in their life.”

Under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme, 34,871 persons have been treated at the various government-run hospitals in the State, the minister said. So far a total of 1.2 lakh recipients have been treated and the insurance firm has approved of Rs. 269 crore worth of claims. So far, the government has distributed 96 lakh smart cards under the insurance scheme, he added.

Honorary degrees awarded

The University conferred honorary degrees of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) on three eminent surgeons for their service to society. L.P. Thangavelu, chairman of Ashwin Hospital in Coimbatore who is a trained laparoscopic surgeon is credited for his work in surgeries to treat cancers.

C. Venkataraman, a dental surgeon who runs Parasu Clinic in Adyar, has taught both undergraduate and postgraduate students for 22 years. The citation said he had conducted several dental camps and is considered a pioneer in the field of dentistry. S. Ashok, chairman of Laser and Laparoscopic Hospital, General Surgical Clinic, in the city was honoured for pioneering laparoscopic surgery in the State. He is also well-known for his proficiency in bariatric surgery.

A total of 5,978 candidates from the various streams of medicine such as medical, dental, AYUSH and Allied Health Sciences courses received their degrees and diplomas on Friday. Vice- Chancellor Mayil Vahanan Natarajan said 3,399 undergraduates, 2,531 postgraduates and 18 candidates who had completed their Ph.D. were conferred their degrees. Thirty postgraduates received their post-doctoral fellowships and 90 candidates received medals in recognition of their outstanding performance.

Governor and Chancellor of the University K. Rosaiah administered the pledge and declared open the convocation.

He also presented lifetime achievement awards to 16 doctors. P.V. Mohandas, Managing Director of MIOT Hospitals is one among them. The awards were part of the University’s silver jubilee year celebrations.