Dr Harsh Vardhan digitally addresses the students of Lady Hardinge Medical College on their convocation ceremony

New Delhi: Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare today digitally addressed the students of Lady Hardinge Medical College(LHMC) on their convocation ceremony.Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Hon’ble Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare was also present at the occasion.

Expressing his gratitude on the occasion, Dr Vardhan said, “I am honoured and privileged to be here at the convocation ceremony of the illustrious Lady Hardinge Medical College. It’s another milestone in the decorated history of this college, as today the 99th batch of MBBS students will be awarded their degrees.”

Appreciating the fact that LHMC is one of the oldest medical colleges in the country, he noted, “Lady Hardinge is a historical institution. Some of you may be interested to know that LHMC was established even before landmark buildings of Delhi like Connaught Place, Parliament and the Rashtrapati Bhavan came up. At the time of independence, and for many years after that, this remained the only medical college in Delhi.”

He continued, “In the last 104 years of its existence, this institution has been a symbol of Women empowerment in our country. Today, Lady Hardinge alumni occupy positions of pride in India and abroad and have made laudable contributions in the fields of health care as well as medical education and brought glory to the institution and the country. This institution has also been ranked within the top 10 medical colleges of the country and has been consistently producing outstanding medical professionals.”

Applauding the contribution of the college in the fight against COVID, the Union Minister said, “I am proud to acknowledge how LHMC rose to the unprecedented challenge of COVID19 and excelled in their battle against this deadly virus.Lady Hardinge was among one of the first Government institutions in Delhi to establish a state-of-the-art facility to conduct RT-PCR tests. As the pandemic spread and various treatment modalities were being tested against this little known virus, LHMC was one of the centers for conducting trials for evaluating usefulness of convalescent plasma therapy.”

He added, “I feel elated to highlight that even during this period, LHMC continued to provide full essential services, including cancer surgery, chemotherapy services for cancer and blood transfusion to thalassemics, while also providing treatment to other Non-Covid patients.I applaud the spirit of LHMC personnel who continued to fight this dreaded disease in spite of many of its doctors and healthcare workers getting infected with Covid.”

Reiterating the government’s commitment towards expansion and development of the college, he noted, “To build upon its 100-year foundational heritage, and to keep it at the forefront of medical education and healthcare, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is committed to expanding and accelerating the ongoing development of this institution & to bring its infrastructure at par with best global institutes.” The Phase 1 of the Comprehensive Redevelopment Plan is nearing completion and the Academic and Oncology Block should be handed over for use this month itself. The remaining Accident & Emergency, Inpatient and Outpatient Blocks are rapidly nearing completion and expected to be operational by 31st March 2021, he said. He continued further in this regard, “On behalf of the Government of India, I would like to assure you, our full financial support and assistance for completing and operationalizing these 3 bocks of the upcoming hospital building under phase 1.We will also ensure that the Phase II, III, and IV of the Redevelopment master plan gets executed at the earliest so that specialty services like Nephrology, Urology, Cardiology, Cardio thoracic surgery and Neurosurgery are provided at LHMC.”

Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that “Medical education forms the apex of the health care pyramid. It is the quality of graduating doctors and specialists that will determine the quality of health care services in the country for generations to come. Ensuring the highest standards of medical education is a top priority for this government.”

He reminded all the students that medicine is not just a profession but a vocation. “You should never stop learning and should continuously keep upgrading your knowledge and skills. At the same time, it is important to show compassion while treating patients.Never forget your humanity, or that of your patients. They are people, not just a collection of specialized body parts. They have unique life-stories, linked to their families, communities, and societies, with women and girls often having adverse experiences. These circumstances have a profound impact on illness and healing.”

Dr Vardhan added, “I am sure, the students being conferred degrees here today will carry forward the legacy of their predecessors and make their own name in the field of medical sciences and make the institute proud. Provision of quality health care plays the most important role in the all round development, progress and prosperity of the country. You, the graduating medical students and postgraduates, have a crucial role to play in this – you have to do this with the utmost devotion, care and compassion. Today is not the end of your course of studies, but the beginning of the road ahead.”

197 Undergraduate students, 129 Post graduate students and 7 post doctorals received their degrees today.

At the end, Dr Vardhan assured the Health Ministry’s full and continuing support in all their present and future endeavors.

Shri Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Dr.Sunil Kumar, Director General Health Services virtually participated in the convocation ceremony.