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Need for combining medical, scientific and technological communities for healthcare: Minister of Science and Technology

Need for combining medical

In an official
press statement
, the Minister for Science &
Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh
Vardhan
said that a combination of advancements
in the technological, scientific and medical communities should be
institutionalised all over the country to improve the efficiency and quality of
healthcare services.

The Ministry launched four major projects in the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical
Sciences and Technology
in Thiruvananthapuram. Dr Harsh Vardhan said that institutions
like Sree Chitra working in the healthcare sector should fall in line with the
goals of Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi’s “Make in India for Healthy India”
initiative; he added that there is a growing need for import substitution,
particularly in the healthcare sector in the country.

Dr Harsh Vardhan approved the construction of the Health and Safety
block (Swasthya Suraksha) under the Prime Minister’s
Healthcare Plan (Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana)
at the Sree Chitra Tirunal
Institute for Medical Sciences campus, and the development of the Combinational
Devices Block and Regional Technical Resource Centre for Health Technology
Assessment; he also inaugurated
its data centre.

According to the Ministry’s press release, Dr Harsh Vardhan
stated some of the technologies that require immediate attention are low-cost
diagnostic machines such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography
(CT), cardiac catheterisation laboratories and digital subtraction angiography
machines; apart from that, research should focus on the development of
artificial implants, bionic organs and state-of-the-art rehabilitation technologies.

The
Minister said that improvement in research and clinical trials in regenerative
medicine, tissue engineering, stem cell engineering and gene therapy is crucial
and that more bio-chips and bio-sensors have to be developed for early
diagnosis and to be able to monitor diseases. 

According to the press release, developing indigenous
technology for the production of low-cost rapid diagnostic kits should also be
a top priority in the healthcare sector. Dr Harsh Vardhan noted that the increased
use of technology in healthcare should bring about an increase in manpower;
skilled labour is required to operate and manage the devices and equipment to
ensure the optimal and safe use of technology. The Ministry intends to foster
and support more collaborative teaching programmes with faculty from both
medical and engineering institutions to promote skill development in healthcare
technology. 

The Ministry
earlier in June stated that the Ministry supports over 1.1 million students,
teachers and researchers
and has also launched various programs for young scientists
and has successfully attracted more than 600 experts of Indian origin from
overseas to return to the country. 

Over the last four years, the
ministry has increased the quality and quantity of basic research, translation
research, technology development, technology transfer, innovation and start-ups,
and has been able to commercialise indigenous technology. Dr Harsh Vardhan noted
that the funding for scientific research has been tripled in the last few years.
India ranks sixth in the global list of scientific publications; the international
growth rate of publishing scientific research papers is about 4% and according
to the Ministry, for India, it is currently 40%.

Dr Harsh Vardhan noted that the Council of Scientific &
Industrial Research (CSIR) ranks ninth among international institutions for
public funding; and in the last four years, India
has also been able to develop over 5,000 technologies and transferred over 800
technologies
to the medical sector. These technological advancements have
helped thousands of people with their start-ups, incubation centres, and
technology parks.

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