Chennai

‘Acute shortage of doctors in rural areas’



India may be one of the fastest-growing nations in terms of GDP growth but unfortunately several gaps exist in health outcomes in India, and 3D printing of living organs will be a practical reality soon, said S. Ramadorai, Chairman, National Skill Development Agency and former vice-chairman, Tata Consultancy Services.

“While there has been an increase in the number of doctors graduating, the overall doctor to patient ratio across India is quite low. And rural areas are still facing an acute shortage of qualified medical professionals,” Mr. Ramadorai said.

Great equaliser

Delivering the 23{+r}{+d}convocation address of Sri Ramachandra University on Thursday, Mr. Ramadorai said technology was a great equaliser.

“With increasing usage of tele-medicine, ‘specialist doctors’ can now connect to remote places and help save lives. Thanks to high-speed broadband and the Internet, tele-medicine is slowly but surely gaining traction in rural India, especially where accessibility is a problem,” he said.

Mr. Ramadorai said virtual reality and immersive technologies are being increasingly used to train surgeons, and even help patients dealing with neurological disorders. “Today, several researchers are able to 3D print biological tissue, and sooner than later, 3D printing of living organs is going to be a practical reality.”

Dwelling on the ‘Start-Up India’ scheme of the government, Mr. Ramadorai said telemedicine and intelligent diagnostic support systems were two areas of opportunities where doctors could collaborate with engineers and entrepreneurs.

He called on the graduating students to give patients the option of choosing generic medicines that were available at a lower cost. “In India, where 21 per cent of its population is below the poverty line, this unique and noble concept, the Jan Aushadhi Yojana, will be of much help.”

Mr. Ramadorai presented gold medals to meritorious students, for best research papers and patents. Abhilashini Manoharan was awarded five gold medals in MBBS for her various achievements.

V.R. Venkataachalam, Chancellor, conferred the degrees and gave away certificates to 238 students and 23 students received Ph.D degrees.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 4:51:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/%E2%80%98Acute-shortage-of-doctors-in-rural-areas%E2%80%99/article14431476.ece

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