By next year, seats in MBBS and PG will go up by 50% and 100%: Azad

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday said that after 2009, availability of MBBS and PG seats in the country went up by 40 per cent and 80 per cent respectively and assured that in the coming year, the seats will increase by 50 per cent and 100 per cent. Azad was in the city to attend the annual convocation of Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University.

Expressing the need to reform policies related to medical and paramedical education, Azad said, "To overcome the shortage of nurses and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives, the ministry has sanctioned 269 nursing schools in the last two years, mostly in remote, inaccessible and under-served districts."

He said that centres of excellence in paramedical education are being established to scale up availability of paramedics. "We have sanctioned National Institute of Paramedical Sciences in Delhi and eight regional institutes including one in Aurangabad. As many as 10,760 paramedic professionals are expected to be trained annually when the institutes are fully functional," added Azad.

He said there are pressing problems such as maternal health, child health, lack of water, sanitation and hygiene issue, ignorance about immunisation and nutrition faced by the nation. "I would request young graduates to take up rural assignments on their own volition," said Azad. He said every country has its own health-related problems, the solution for which have to be found indigenously.

He said the government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility. "The private sector also has to play an extremely important role by sharing the burden of the state in funding higher education," said Azad.

Requesting the students to take active participation in nation building, Azad said, "Around 99 per cent graduates want to serve in cities. But only 1 per cent wants to work in rural area. 75 per cent of India lives in rural areas and hence we need people to cater to their needs. Youth are our greatest strength and I call upon them to build a better and healthy nation."

Talking about the Delhi ganrape case, Azad said, "We had a word with the Safdarjung Hospital administration and shifted the patient to Singapore for better treatment. We are closely monitoring her situation."

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