Minister Rajendra Prasad Singh (centre) at the seminar in Ranchi on Sunday.
Picture by Hardeep Singh
To get quality healthcare services in Jharkhand, medical professionals should be held in high esteem, said state health and finance minister Rajendra Prasad Singh in Ranchi on Sunday.
Singh was speaking during the inauguration of the daylong Vitreo Retinal Conference hosted at the capital’s Kashyap Memorial Eye Hospital.
The first-of-its kind seminar in the state was attended by a number of doctors from across the globe as well as postgraduate medical students.
Singh also announced that stipends paid to postgraduate medical and psychiatry students would be hiked.
“Stipends of postgraduate medical students will be increased within the next one week. Budgetary constraints make the present hike a moderate one. But in the 2014-15 fiscal budget, adequate provisions will be made to ensure that the allowance of postgraduate students is one of the highest in the country,” Singh added, refusing to divulge details on the increment.
He added all promotions of medicos would be processed in a time-bound manner and more doctors would be appointed at various state-run medical colleges.
“A 500-bed hospital at the state-run sadar hospital is ready and will be offloaded to interested private sector units on a public-private partnership mode. We have appointed 201 doctors. We will appoint more in future. Moreover, the state-run Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences is being upgraded as a super-speciality hospital on the lines of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi,” he said.
But, the tone of the conference was set by US-based ophthalmologist Kamal Kishore.
“Do not copy blindly from the US. It will be inappropriate to assume that everything is good there. Technology used to treat eye ailments should be such that it benefits the common man in India. While choosing the type of imported technology, it must be ensured that it benefits people and society at large,” Kishore said.
He added that effective action was needed to weed out malnutrition and high infant mortality rates in India.
“Fifty per cent of our girls, particularly in rural areas, are malnourished. Today’s infant girls are tomorrow’s mothers. We cannot allow a situation where most of our would-be mothers are malnourished,” he said, stressing on the need to end gender bias.
Referring to eye health, the doctor stressed on self-awareness. “In most cases, eye ailments go unnoticed as patients do not experience any problem. Hence, make it an everyday habit for five minutes to alternately shut one eye and check your vision with another. If you notice blurring, spots or lines, consult a doctor immediately,” he said.