Without making any reference to the medical students stranded in Ukraine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked states to come up with policies to ensure that Indians don’t have to go abroad to study and called upon the private players to have a bigger presence in the medical education sector and
“Our children today are going to small countries for studies, especially in medical education. Language is a problem there, but they are still going. Lots of money is also going out,” Modi said while addressing a webinar on the Union Budget announcements regarding the health sector.
The PM also urged the private sector to pitch in. “Can our private sector not enter this field in a big way? Can our state governments not frame good land allotment policies so that doctors and paramedics are trained here? Not only this, we can also fulfill the demand of the world,” he said.
The prime minister’s appeal comes at a time when thousands of students, mostly studying medicine, are stranded as Russian forces carry out an attack on the eastern European country. Still, his remarks assume significance as Indian students are facing innumerable problems.
He said that India could benefit greatly from its demographic dividend in this field. “Wherever India’s doctors work, they have won hearts. Our doctors’ talent has been recognised and praised the world over. Our branding is already there, so we just need to train more talented doctors,” he said.
Dwelling on the positive role of remote healthcare and telemedicine during the pandemic, Modi said these technologies helped in reducing health access divide between urban and rural India. “We have adopted a holistic approach in our healthcare system. Today, our focus is not only on health but equally on wellness.”
The government plans to strengthen primary health care and is speeding up work on opening up 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres, of which 85,000 are already providing routine check-up, vaccination and tests, he said.