The capacity-building measures initiated by the Government in the health sector has led to an increased patronage for Government hospitals, V. K. Subburaj, Principal-Secretary, Health, said on Sunday.
Addressing the Doctor's Day celebrations organised by Udhavum Ullangal and Ekam Foundation to present the Dr. K. S. Sanjivi awards 2010, Mr. Subburaj said the scale-up involved Rs. 1,200 crore-projects for new buildings, starting new medical institutions, earmarking Rs. 650 crore for purchase of equipment and appointment of over 7,000 doctors over the last three years.
“As a result, patients are thronging our hospitals unmindful of waiting time or other inconveniences,” he said.
Mr. Subburaj termed the improvement in functioning of Primary Health Centres (PHCs) as one of the biggest successes of the Government health sector. The PHC model in Tamil Nadu has been universally hailed and recommended by the World Health Organisation for replication, he said.
The Health Secretary exhorted doctors to put in efforts that went beyond the call of duty as there was a mismatch between the availability of physicians and the growing disease burden in the country. He pointed out that India had an estimated 6 crore patients each with heart disease, diabetes and mental disability, 25 per cent of the global tuberculosis burden and nearly 80 per cent of the world's leprosy patients. Besides, cancer cases and kidney patients were increasing at the rate of one million annually.
Hailing the Dr. K. S. Sanjivi awardees as exemplars of the profession, Mr. Subburaj hoped their deeds would motivate the younger generation.
The awardees were Pushpa, paediatric haematologist in Chennai (Life Time Achievement), P. Amutha Rajeswari, paediatrician in Madurai, Shiva Prasad Sahoo, ophthalmologist in Orissa, L. Muthusamy, ENT surgeon in Madurai, Sarala Rajajee, paediatric haematologist, K. Vanaja, public health specialist, R. Krishnamoorthy, plastic surgeon, J. S. Sathya Narayana Murthy, cardiologist and Subramaniya Bharathiyar, anaesthetist in Chennai.
Awards for institutional work were given to Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore and Isha Outreach, Coimbatore. D. J. Parthasarathy, vice president (sales and marketing) TTK Health Care, pledged the company's continued support for the Doctor's Day events in honour of Dr. Sanjivi.
Earlier, addressing a Continuing Medical Education programme, S. Ayyappan, consultant, Madras Cancer Care Foundation, said the early warning signs of cancer included non-healing ulcers, bleeding from any orifice, change in mole or wart, persistent cough or change in voice, swallowing difficulty and change in bowel habits.
Ganapathy Ramanan, consultant, Cancer Research and Relief Trust, called for addressing the lacuna in training of general practitioners in picking up the warning signs to improve early diagnosis of cancers.