GANDHINAGAR: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Saturday said the government was working to equal the number of undergraduate and postgraduate medical seats within four years so that all MBBS graduates can pursue PG courses.
Speaking at the 11th annual conference of the Global Association of Physicians of Indian origin (GAPIO) here, he also invited healthcare professionals from the Indian diaspora to invest in research and open hospital chains in the country with ''assured business.'' More than 70 countries will sign hospital-to-hospital, country-to-country and country-to-hospital MoUs at the `Heal In India, Heal By India' expo to be held in April-May this year, he said.
''When we open a dispensary, we also need doctors. Eight years ago, India had 51,000 MBBS seats. Today, we have 1,00,226 under-graduate seats, and post-graduate seats grew from 34,000 to 64,000,'' the minister said.
''We have set a target to make the number of MBBS UG and PG seats equal so that all our doctors get the opportunity to enrol in PG courses and get the best healthcare education,'' he added.
Under the `Heal in India' initiative, the plan is to ''invite the world to India'' and offer ''affordable and quality healthcare, wellness and traditional medicine,'' the minister said.
The process has begun, and Gujarat is the best destination for medical travel, said Mandaviya.
''If you want to work in the health sector and want to build hospital chains, then I want to give you assured business. If you have a 50-100 bed hospital and get affiliated to Ayushman Bharat, you will get assured business and opportunity to serve the public. If you want to run it commercially, you can do so under the Ayushman Bharat scheme,'' he said.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said while India has successfully come out of the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are greater challenges ahead in the healthcare sector due to the growing burden of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
''The way forward is to provide innovative solutions which are also cost-effective and can be availed of by all sections of society,'' he said.
Dr Anupam Sibal, President of GAPIO, said it provides a platform to Indian-origin doctors practicing anywhere in the world to share their knowledge and exchange ideas.
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