She banks on various measures proposed to be implemented by State

It is necessary to train sufficient medical and paramedical personnel to serve the healthcare sector for ensuring the State's progress towards a premium position in the county, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has said.

“My government is fully confident that the various measures proposed to be undertaken now in the health sector will definitely propel Tamil Nadu into the premium position in the country in the provision of free quality healthcare to the entire population,” she said. “However, these measures will not succeed unless adequate, well-trained medical and paramedical manpower is available in the State.”

Ms. Jayalalithaa was addressing the 22nd convocation of Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University. The need for specialists in sub specialties and super specialties is growing, she pointed out. The medical university was one of the first in India to offer fellowship programmes in medical, surgical, and dental sub and super specialties and this must be lauded.

The Chief Minister said that the State had made significant progress in medical, dental and allied health education, thanks to the availability of good infrastructure in private and public sectors.

The medical university was playing a major role in maintaining the quality of education by providing regulatory support. It was also in the process of using sophisticated marking and examination analysis computer programmes to ensure that assessment was fair, reliable and transparent in graduate and postgraduate courses.

Ms. Jayalalithaa also listed various health innovations the government had brought about since taking over in May, including the Chief Minister's Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme, the new multi-speciality hospital to come up on Omandurar Government Estate, enhancing benefits under the Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme, free supply of sanitary napkins to rural adolescent girls.

She gave away awards for lifetime achievement to 10 medical professionals and teachers: V. Shanta, chairperson, Cancer Institute; D. Raja, former vice-chancellor of the university; Prema Krishnaswami, obstetrician and gynaecologist; C.S.Vijay Shankar, cardio thoracic surgeon; K. Sridhar, Planning Commission Member; R. Prabhakar, former director, Tuberculosis Research Centre; K. Ravindranath, chairman, Global Hospitals; R. Raveendran, managing director, Udhi Eye Hospital; S.P. Thyagarajan, Pro-Chancellor, Sri Ramachandra University; and Jayam Kannan, gynaecologist and fertility expert.

Governor K. Rosaiah, who is the Chancellor of the university, presented the D.Sc.Honoris Causa (honorary degree) to Krishnamoorthy Srinivas, neurologist; Prasanna Kumar Reddy, gastroenterologist; M.P. Naresh Kumar, cardio thoracic surgeon; and C.V. Bhirmamandham, former vice-chancellor of the university.

Degrees and diplomas were awarded to candidates under the categories of Medical, Dental, Indian Medicine and allied health sciences courses. Medals were presented to meritorious candidates.