India lags in medical research: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said much more needs to be done in the field of medical research, and asked doctors passing out from the All India Institute of Medical Research (AIIMS) to give back to society which has contributed in making them what they are.

He also told them to work among the poor in far-flung areas for at least a week every year.

Speaking at the 42nd convocation of AIIMS in New Delhi today, "Some doctors achieve high professional acclaim for which they are lauded for which they are recommended as experts, while some immerse themselves so deeply in their patients well-being that it produces an ability in the patient to respond to the cure."

The difference between a good and bad doctor, he said, was often that the former touched a chord with patients while the latter treated the sick part of body like a tool to be fixed.

"You should become popular with your patients as they follow you.

Saying Indian doctors have made a name for themselves all over the world and yet the country was far behind in medical research.

"In the field of research we should become more conscious towards case history. We should record the case history of patients and it can give us valuable information in two-three years."

Referring  to health minister Harsh Vardhan's statement that over 40 per cent of AIIMS's doctors go abroad, Modi said he was not aware if the thought of giving back crossed their mind as the country diverted budget from different sectors to their field, which made them what they are.

Addressing the students, Modi said, "(You should think) in a way, somebody's rights were snatched to provide for us... I will remember it every moment of my life.Everybody coming to me has helped me in some way and he has a right over me... To repay this debt is your duty."

He said doctors must be aware of and practice innovations and fast-changing technologies in the field to stay relevant.

You are an example... You must remember this," Modi said Students should not think that passing-out from AIIMS was the end to their "struggle" and "learning" and lead an exemplary life as patients believe in what doctors say and do.

"This is not the end of your learning rather you are now going from a closed and protected classroom, to an open classroom," he said, adding that keeping a student's mindset would help them become "energetic" throughout life while lack of it is the "first step towards death".

Modi also said that poor students should be invited to convocations like these as "special guests" as it will spark "curiosity and inspiration" in them which no teacher can do.

In his concluding remarks, Modi said he was "puzzled" why he was invited as he was neither a "good patient" nor a doctor.

"I was invited because I am Prime Minister. It is country's bad luck that we (politicians) are everywhere."