Special Correspondent

Medicine procured under a transparent and corruption-free system: Thalavai Sundaram

CHENNAI: The Government General Hospital here is treating 8,000-10,000 outpatients every day, Health Minister Thalavai Sundaram said on Sunday.

"Before the inauguration of two blocks, the hospital had 6,000 outpatients daily. Now, the number has increased." Every day, three open-heart surgeries were performed free of cost, he said. He inaugurated a workshop on training of Dental Council of India inspectors, who are required to examine each dental college periodically.

Listing the measures taken by the Government, Mr. Sundaram said the Government bought medicines worth Rs. 120 crore annually through a "transparent and corruption-free" system. The Medical Services Corporation was involved in the exercise, which won kudos from different quarters.

Health Ministers of Rajasthan, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir visited Chennai and interacted with him to know how the system worked.

Outpatient-student ratio

Referring to the Dental Council of India's stipulation on the outpatient-student ratio in dental colleges, Mr. Sundaram wondered whether private colleges could fulfil this requirement and suggested that the council relax the rule.

Council president Anil Kohli said the new regulations were notified in the Government Gazette a few weeks ago after being scrutinised by the Union Ministries of Law and Health. He stressed the importance of standardising dental education.

As for the ratio issue, Dr. Kohli, in a chat with presspersons later, said the situation could not be improved overnight.

Change in curriculum

Council vice-president C. Bhaskar Rao said the curriculum for dental education remained, by and large, unchanged in the last five decades, and changes would be made soon.

S.G. Damle, president-elect, Indian Dental Association, said more such workshops were in the pipeline.

C. Kumaravelu, principal, Government Dental College and Hospital; S.M. Balaji, coordinator of the workshop; P. Vijayalakshmi, Director, Medical Education; and Kalavathy Ponniraivan, Dean, Madras Medical College, spoke.