Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated 11 government medical colleges in Tamil Nadu and said the future will belong to societies that invest in healthcare. After virtually inaugurating the medical institutions, Modi said the covid-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of the health sector and listed out the various health and medical education related initiatives of his government.
"The once in a lifetime covid-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of the health sector. The future will belong to societies which invest in health care. The government of India has brought many reforms in the health sector," he said in his virtual address. "Learning from the pandemic, we keep working to ensure inclusive, quality health services to all our countrymen," said. India's covid-19 vaccination programme was making "remarkable progress," he said, while pointing to the expansion of the campaign by including the 15-18 years age group and the administration of the precaution dose to persons aged 60 years and above with comorbidities.
Thanks to the Ayushman Bharat scheme, the poor now have access to top quality and affordable health care, the Prime Minister added. Earlier, he inaugurated new medical colleges at Virudhunagar, Namakkal, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Tiruvallur, Nagapattinam, Dindigul, Kallakurichi, Ariyalur, Ramanathapuram and Krishnagiri districts in the state and these institutions would have a cumulative capacity of 1,450 medical seats.
Noting that it was important to address regional imbalances, Modi pointed out that two of the colleges have come up in the "aspirational districts of Ramanathapuram and Virudhunagar," which need development attention. Besides, one campus has been established at the remote, hilly Nilgiris.
The government had earlier said establishment of these medical colleges was in line with the prime minister's constant endeavour to promote affordable medical education and improve health infrastructure in all parts of the country. The new colleges have been set up under the centrally-sponsored scheme of establishing new medical colleges attached with existing district/referral hospital.
Over 1.5 crore people in these districts and adjoining areas would benefit from the new initiative. Modi also inaugurated the new building of Central Institute of Classical Tamil here.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin and Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya were present here for the inauguration. In his address, Stalin reiterated his government's demand for exempting the state from the ambit of the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET), citing the interests of the rural students.
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