Staff Reporter

VIJAYAWADA: The Vijayawada Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (VIMHANS) at Suryaraopet is gearing up to receive Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Saturday.

Dr. Reddy will visit the institute to inaugurate DNB (Diplomate National Board), a post-graduate medical course in psychiatry, the first of its kind to be introduced in the region.

Director of the institute Indla Ramasubba Reddy told a press conference on Friday that the main objective of introducing the DNB course was to fill the gap between the need for qualified psychiatrists in the country and the limited availability of them. “We have only 3,500 clinical psychiatrists across the country against the need of at least 40,000 of them,” he said.

Since there were only about 300 MD seats in various medical colleges in the country, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had permitted private hospitals with adequate staff and infrastructure to train doctors by offering the DNB course.

VIMHANS, a 25-year-old 60-bed hospital, had a special de-addiction clinic to offer services to people addicted to alcohol, smoking, gutka and other drugs. The institute also had a separate memory clinic, which was open on Saturdays. Equipped with state-of-the-art biofeedback equipment, it would help people get relief from day-to-day stress and tension, Dr. Reddy said.

Chief psychiatrist I. Vishal Reddy was also present.