New Delhi: Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare today through video-conference presided over the commencement of the first batch of MBBS students of AIIMS Guwahati in the presence of Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare.
Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister of Assam and Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of Assam graced the occasion with their physical presence as Guests of Honor.
Extending his hearty congratulations to all students of the first batch of MBBS of AIIMS Guwahati, Dr. Harsh Vardhan took the occasion to remind the audience of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of Health for all: “AIIMS Guwahati is part of new prestigious institutions that were conceived under the 5th Phase of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna (PMSSY). Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is taking forward the work of Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee; it was because of him that the spell of almost 50 years was broken for the 2nd AIIMS to be born even as a concept. While the short-term objective of establishing new AIIMS in various parts of India is to reduce the ‘gaps’ in affordable tertiary health care, the long-term vision is to generate wellnesses amongst the general population of India.”
Elated at the possibility of better care for the people of Assam, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “This shall be a 750 bedded hospital with multiple specialty as well as Super Specialty Departments. It is one of the most ambitious projects with a total outlay of Rs. 1123 Crores, which includes an allocation of Rs. 185 Crores towards state-of-the art medical equipment.” “I am hopeful that with necessary facilitation by the Government of Assam, and close monitoring by the Central Government, the project shall be completed at the earliest,” he added.
Speaking on the Government’s aim of striving to achieve the WHO target of doctor-patient ratio of ‘1 for every 1000’ by this year itself, he noted, “From Academic Session 2013-14 onwards, the total number of MBBS seats in the six new AIIMS has gone up to 600, providing an opportunity to an additional 300 MBBS aspirants. With the addition of new AIIMS, including AIIMS Guwahati, the overall availability of MBBS seats in the country has risen to 42,545 in Government Institutions. These MBBS seats will see a further increase in the future as AIIMS, Guwahati shifts from its temporary campus to the permanent campus and infrastructure and Human resources augmentation takes place. AIIMS Guwahati shall have 125 MBBS seats, including the seats for EWS students. In addition, it shall have 60 Nursing students in due course of time.” He informed of the government’s endeavor to increase the overall availability of MBBS seats to 80,000.
Addressing the bright students starting their educational journey, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “I always encourage young and bright minds to choose the medical profession because the doctor-patient relationship is guided by the best of human virtues such as altruism, compassion and the desire to alleviate human suffering.”
Reminding the young professionals about the sacrifice being continuously made by lakhs of frontline medical personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, “Like everywhere else in the world, doctors and health workers in India have also held fort and have been at the forefront of the country’s battle against the pandemic. The Nation owes them a deep debt of gratitude”.
Dedicating this event to Swami Vivekananda and the youth in whom he saw a new resurgent India, Shri Choubey coined the slogan “Delhi ho ya Guwahati; Apni desh Apni Mati” to best convey the Prime Minister’s hard work to ensure quality medical care for people of all regions in the country. He mentioned, “Central Government’s initiative in setting up new AIIMS and upgradation of GMCs under PMSSY in the different States is a concerted step in the right direction to promote regional spread of Super Specialty healthcare and its accessibility.”
Thanking the Prime Minister for his undiluted attention to the North-East, Shri Sonowal said, “The investment in the North East region over the last 6 years is beginning to show results as the region becomes more developed and confident of itself.”
Smt. Queen Oja, Member of Lok Sabha, Guwahati and Dr. Rajdeep Roy, Member of Lok Sabha, Silchar were invited as special guests on the occasion.
Sh. Jishnu Barua, Chief Secretary, Assam and Senior Officers from Health and Welfare Department, Govt. of Assam were also present.
Prof. Chitra Sarkar, President, IB, AIIMS, Guwahati moderated the event. Dr. Gitanjali Padmanabhan Batmanabane, Director, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar which is the Mentor Institute of AIIMS, Guwahati, Dr. Manasi Bhattacharjee, Prof. & Head, Department of Physiology, AIIMS, Guwahati were present along with members of the Institute Body, AIIMS, Guwahati, Principal, faculty members and staff of the GMC, Guwahati, Faculty members & staff of AIIMS, Guwahati, Students of the 1st Batch of MBBS & their parents and Faculty members and Officer from AIIMS-Bhubaneswar.