The menace posed by the corrosive commercialisation of medical education must be warded off, and efforts should be made to check the growth of substandard medical colleges, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said on Tuesday.
Taking a hard line in the light of a number of medical colleges not being able to renew their recognition this year, Ms. Jayalalithaa said it was important to ensure that standards were maintained in medical education.
Speaking at the silver jubilee convocation of Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University here, she said there was no greater priority for the varsity than to produce doctors who possessed high order professional skills, and are imbued with a sense of dedication and public service.
She urged students to remember that they were being sent out on a mission, a mission to heal, and hoped that they would stick by this tenet. As for the university, she said it should be committed to creating a healthcare delivery system of the future, educating the workforce of tomorrow, establishing an ideal learning environment and focussing on research endeavours.
Medical education, she said, needs to be planned and implemented, with full awareness of the aims and demands of healthcare services.
Vice-Chancellor D. Shantharam announced that a Department of Medical Research would be set up in the near future to encourage students to take up research. Additionally, the Immunology Department would soon serve as a nodal centre for testing samples under organ transplant programme of the State.
About 11,800 undergraduate and postgraduate students were given degrees in medical, dental, Indian medicine and allied health courses. Of this, over 3,300 students received their degrees in person, and 149 medal winners were identified for their exceptional performance.
A.N. Chandrasekaran, senior rheumatologist, Shamsudin Mohamed Rela, liver transplant surgeon, T.Ramadass, senior ENT consultant, were conferred honorary doctorates by Chancellor and Governor K.Rosaiah.
Ms. Jayalalithaa presented lifetime achievement awards to V. Kanagasabai, Dean, Madras Medical College, S. Subash, senior consultant gastroenterologist, and A. Sundaram, Kumar Venkatesh and N. Chidambaranathan, senior professionals.