Union minister of health and family welfare, J P Nadda, conducted a meeting with about 100 medical practitioners from Ahmedabad and other cities of Gujarat at a city club on Sunday afternoon. Nadda discussed various government initiatives and its implementation so far and asked for the fraternity's support in strengthening India's healthcare sector.

He refrained from discussing Gujarat elections or politics in public forum. However, he later conducted a meeting with the fraternity representatives. The state doctors put forth issues including quality of medical education. One of the doctors raised a question on the admissions after capitation fees even for the students who have not got required marks. He pointed out that such steps (of privatizing medical education) might prove dangerous in the long run.

The doctors also discussed impact of GST on medical equipment, law to prevent assault on doctors by the relatives of patients, setting up better practice codes across India and strengthening mid-level medical facilities to reduce burden on tertiary health centers and hospitals.

Nadda said that his ministry is implementing major initiatives such as mass vaccination drives and increase in number of medical seats to ensure that the requirement for trained doctors, especially in rural areas, can be addressed.

"We are focusing on preventive healthcare and have launched Universal Health Screening initiative in 100 districts on pilot basis where every person will be screened for multiple diseases including cancer in government hospitals. Likewise, through Jan Aushadhi we have reached over 45 lakh citizens to provide good quality generic medicines," he said. Nadda admitted that there is a gap between urban and rural healthcare and also between government and private set-ups. "We are thus mapping districts rather than states to identify the regions requiring more attention and working closely with the state governments. We have increased 20,000 medical seats to address the issue," he said. - TOI

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