Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday said the government is proposing
a new National Urban Health Mission to focus on the health
challenges of people in towns and cities while it would continue
the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) for another five years.
Delivering his address at the third convocation of the Jawaharlal
Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER)
here, Singh said: "Our government has decided to continue the
National Rural Health Mission for the next five years. We are now
proposing a new National Urban Health Mission in order to focus on
the health challenges in our towns and our cities."
Referring to NRHM introduced seven years back with the challenges
of high mortality rates of infants, pregnant women and where two
thirds of health expenditure is met by people, Singh expressed
satisfaction that "the scheme has shown that health indicators can
be improved with concerted focus on public health systems at
primary and secondary levels".
"Infant and maternal mortality rates have fallen and institutional
deliveries have increased. But much more needs to be done and
there is a large unfinished agenda of providing affordable
healthcare for all our people," he remarked.
According to the prime minister, the challenge for policy makers
in India is ensuring the proper development of various segments in
the healthcare system.
He said in India both public and private sector is present in the
health sector and he is hopeful of launching a unified National
Citing the shortage of doctors and para medical personnel in the
country, he said the shortfall is acute in rural and more
particularly in north, central and eastern regions of India.
"The centre and the state governments, particularly state
governments of the under-served regions, need to put their heads
together, prepare strategies and implement urgent measures to
remedy the situation," he urged.
On the issue of medical education quality, Singh said "the
perception of deterioration cannot be allowed to persist and there
should be a credible regulatory and institutional mechanism to
Calling for "a serious look at the medical education curriculum to
turn out doctors who look at health in a holistic manner beyond
clinical and technology driven approach", he added that the
education of health professionals too must be transformed in
precept and practice.
"Interdisciplinary learning and health system connectivity
should,therefore, become the hallmarks of contemporary medical
education. Apart from the study of health and disease, knowledge
of health economics, ethics, patient rights, behaviour change
communication and information technology should inform and
influence the design and delivery of our healthcare systems,"
According to him, "medical education should be reconfigured to
produce a technically competent, socially sensitive, ethically
correct and ready to serve health professional who can respond to
the diverse demands of India's growing health needs".
He said the Medical Council of India is in the process of revising
the MBBS curriculum and incorporating training in Community
Medicine at all levels and also rationalised norms for new medical
colleges so that new colleges are opened all over the country.
"Under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana, construction
of 6 AIIMS-like institutions at Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur,
Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh is in full swing. The medical colleges
are expected to be functional from the academic session 2012-13
and the hospitals by 2013-14," Singh said.
Extending the centre's help to develop Puducherry into a hub for
higher and professional education, Singh urged the Puducherry
government to work with the central Tourism Ministry to explore
the possibilities of developing responsible and eco-friendly