Medical education has been oriented only to tertiary care with primary care and prevention receiving low priority, according to Dr V Shanta, chairman of Adyar Cancer Institute (WIA).
Delivering the 24th convocation address of The Tamil Nadu MGR Medical University, Dr Shanta said, in the changing healthcare scenario with rise in non-communicable diseases, the thrust should be on prevention and it would be necessary to reflect this in undergraduate and post-graduate teaching.
Stressing the need to ensure that merit was the sole criterion in any selection process, Dr Shanta said the acute shortage of medical seats in government and private colleges had resulted in mushrooming of self-financing institutions, where seats cost a fortune, and financial capacity, not merit, is the deciding factor.
“In Tamil Nadu, the total applicants for medical course this year was 28,275 as against 2,144 medical seats (between government and private colleges),” she said.
Health Minister V S Vijay said that there was a 40 per cent increase in the outlay for health during the AIADMK regime.
Vijay also urged students to follow the medical code of ethics and encouraged them to practise in rural areas.
Vice-chancellor of the university Dr Mayilvahanan Natarajan said that 5,798 students were conferred with degrees at the 24th convocation.
They included 3,399 under graduates, 2,531 post-graduates and 18 Ph.Ds. Natarajan said that 30 postgraduate students received post-doctoral fellowships and 90 received medals.
Natarajan also stressed the need to revise the medical curriculum to produce technically competent, socially sensitive, ethically correct and ready-to-serve health professionals, who can respond to diverse demands of India’s health needs.
Tamil Nadu governor K Rosaiah presided over the function at The Tamil Nadu MGR Medical University.