Shortage of doctors, nurses biggest healthcare challenge: PM (Lead)

August 25th, 2008 - 6:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Jorhat (Assam), Aug 25 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Monday that a shortage of doctors and nurses was the biggest hurdle as providing adequate healthcare for Indians.”There is a major shortage of trained medical professionals and nurses in the country, and this is a major challenge for us in providing healthcare services to the people of India,” the prime minister said.

Manmohan Singh was speaking at a public rally in Jorhat, 310 km east of Assam’s main city Guwahati, after laying the foundation stone of a medical college and flagging hospitals-on-wheels for 17 districts.

“We need to address these issues both at the national and regional levels to ensure that there are no shortages of doctors and nurses. It is heartening that Assam is taking the lead in setting up medical colleges,” he said.

Two more medical colleges are being set up in Assam in addition to the existing three.

“Assam is taking the lead in showing the rest of India in terms of providing adequate healthcare delivery especially in the rural sector,” Manmohan Singh said. “The results of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in Assam were very encouraging, and the state government needs to be complimented for it.”

The Jorhat Medical College to be set up over 48 acres at an estimated cost of Rs.16 billion is expected to be functional in two years. “The medical college will go a long way in further boosting the healthcare facilities in the state,” the prime minister said.

Manmohan Singh also met in Jorhat Monday a group of Satradhikars or Vaishnavite monastic heads of Majuli, South Asia’s largest river island. Then he left for the central Assam town of Nagaon where he is to address another rally. He will spend the night in Guwahati.

The prime minister is to address a meeting of the Assam council of ministers at the Raj Bhawan Monday night.

On Tuesday, the prime minister will address students and faculty members of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Guwahati before leaving for Kokrajhar town in the west of the state, about 250 km from here.

“The prime minister will lay the foundation stone of the Bodoland University, a planetarium, and a science museum-cum children’s park in Kokrajhar,” said Hagrama Mahilary, chief of the Bodoland Territorial Council.

The prime minister leaves for New Delhi Tuesday evening.

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