India is short of not only doctors, but nurses, dental surgeons, physiotherapists and other healthcare providers. It will be a while before we can reach the World Health Organisation benchmark, Mayil Vahanan Natarajan, Vice-Chancellor of The Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University, said here on Sunday.

Delivering the graduation day address of PPG Institute of Health Sciences, he said a matter of greater concern was the skewed distribution of healthcare between the urban and rural parts of the country.

“These are challenging times for us. Disease burden is increasing and getting more complex. Disease scenario in India is showing a rapid increase in diabetes and cardio-vascular ailments, essentially because of changing lifestyles. More than one lakh people die in road accidents every year,” the Vice-Chancellor said.

Tourism

He also added that India was now viewed as one of the important hubs for medical tourism, with patients coming in from many countries for medical reasons. Despite India being called a knowledge superpower, the country lagged behind all global majors in practically every key area of scientific and technical education. Dr. Natarajan said that the medical university now concentrated not only on training physicians, but other healthcare providers too.

New courses

“We have introduced new systems and standards for medical education so that the graduates of the university are comparable to the best in the world. New courses have been introduced in all major divisions of medicine, dentistry, Indian medicine and allied health science. Yet, there is a lot more that we need to do as medical educators in the health care system of the State,” he added. M. Karunakaran, District Collector, Palani G. Periasamy, Chairman, PGP Group, and L.P. Thangavelu, Chairman of PPG Memorial Charitable Trust, spoke, besides others.

More In: TAMIL NADU | NATIONAL