Hyderabad: Dr Kakarla Subba Rao, director emeritus, Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad on Saturday emphasised the need to orient young medical students towards service and patient care.
“The only goal of most of the medical students is how to become rich, and make more money. We need to orient young medical students towards service, patient care. We must make them dedicated to the service of the poor. When students get into medical education they have noble thoughts of service initially. But two years in the education and their experience, all that vanishes,” Dr Rao said.
He was speaking at a press conference organised here to announce the Indo-Global Healthcare Summit and Expo 2015 which will be held in Hyderabad, from July 23 to 26. The even will be jointly organised by the Federation of the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the OMICS Group, and the Indus Foundation, according to a statement.
Dr Rao said, “There are three aspects of Medicine. One is service, two is education and three is research. Research is in the bottom of the priorities of our successive governments in India. Governments don’t encourage research. Individuals don’t carry out research since government doesn’t give them incentives.”
He further said, “The only medical device known in the past is stethoscope. Now we use many medical devices. Eighty per cent of the medical devices used — PET scan, CT scan, ultrasound etc — are imported. Why can’t these be manufactured locally? Don’t we have capacity? Indian doctors have great skills. Why can’t companies hire doctors to develop medical devices indigenously?”
“The government must slowly ban the import of medical devices and encourage manufacturing of the same locally under the ‘Make in India’ programme. I am not asking government to ban them immediately and suddenly. The imported devices must be phased out slowly over a period of time and we must start producing them domestically. Make these devices locally, use them, perfect them and then export them too,” Dr Rao added.
Speaking on the occasion, S B Anumolu, president, The Indus Foundation, New Jersey, said that the Summit and Expo is organised in the backdrop of Indian healthcare industry growing at a rapid pace. It is expected to grow from $70 billion now to $145 billion in 2017 and to $280 billion by 2020. It recorded a 12 per cent growth in the last four years, he added.
Even so, nearly one million Indians die every year due to inadequate healthcare facilities and 700 million people have no access to specialist care. About 80 per cent of specialists live in urban areas, Anumolu said.
Another interesting trend in healthcare sector is medical tourism which has now gained momentum in the country. As overseas patients get quality health services in India for less than half the price prevailing in their countries, India is becoming a popular medical tourist destination in Asia. At present, medical tourism is a $2 billion business and is expected to grow substantially in the future, according to the statement.