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Need to increase intake in medical, nursing colleges: VIT Chancellor
There is an urgent need to increase the number of seats in medical and nursing colleges in India, if the nation wants to do well on the health front, VIT University Chancellor G Viswanathan said on Thursday.
Presiding over Biomet 2018, an international conference on biomedicine, bioengineering and biotheranostics, he said the country currently has 8 lakh doctors against the needed strength of 13 lakh, while there were only 14 lakh nurses as against the required 26 lakh. With an average growth of population by 20 million annually, he said India needs 20,000 more doctors and 40,000 more nurses, he said.
Urging the central and the state governments to spend more on the health sector, he said India’s per capita expenditure on healthcare was only $63 per year while China spent $426, Korea $2,000, Japan $3,200, European nations $4,000 and USA above $9,000. At the national level, there were only 60,000 medical seats for 1.3 crore aspirants, while at the state level, there were only 5,000 seats for 1.2 lakh students, he added. He also pointed out that there were 1.5 lakh engineering seats every year as compared to 60,000 medical seats.
State Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said that as many as 15,000 patients died due to trauma in Tamil Nadu annually while the state was yet to get vaccines for many infectious diseases. He said the challenge was in sharing knowledge while a huge gap existed in translating research to benefit the patients.
Dr Alok Srivastava, CMC’s stem cell unit head, said knowledge increased through adaptation and innovation and CMC’s haematology and stem cell units were proof of this. While CMC had filed a new drug application for gene therapy trials, he said work in CMC had resulted in the department of biotechnology funding them with more than Rs 100 crore over 12 years for stem cell research. The CP Sharma award was bestowed on Dr Ashutosh Chilkoti by the Chancellor.