President of India
Home » Speeches

In Hindi


Mumbai, 4th July 2010


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very happy to inaugurate the Seven Hills Hospital in Mumbai. I congratulate the team led by Dr. Jitendra Das Maganti that has worked hard to make this project a reality. The Seven Hills Group has to its credit over two decades of working in the healthcare sector. I am confident that this experience will be invaluable in helping its Mumbai Hospital to fulfill the vision of providing quality healthcare.

Good health parameters of a society are an absolute necessity for the economic progress of a nation. For India, a country with the second largest population in the world, we can realize our demographic dividend only if we empower our citizens. This can be possible by giving them education, building their skills, as also by providing them adequate health services, so that their productive and creative potential is fully realized. For meeting the health needs of our population, a comprehensive and sustained approach is required towards developing a strong health infrastructure throughout the country. Hospitals, nursing homes and medical-care units should be well equipped and staffed with dedicated doctors, trained nurses and other para-medical manpower. How much distance have we covered in this mission?

Since our independence, we have achieved some successes in the healthcare sector, like increase in life expectancy and eradication of some endemic diseases. However, it is still work in progress. We are yet to reach our goal of health for all. Access to and affordability of healthcare especially for the underprivileged and marginalized sections of society, in particular women and children, remain under-accomplished tasks. Moreover, the penetration of health services in rural areas is particularly low. All stakeholders - the Government, the private sector and voluntary organizations will have to work together for establishing a healthcare system that can cater to the medical requirements of the nation.

Treating medical conditions is a core function for any hospital. I would like to emphasize the importance of holistic treatment of the patient. Care should be taken to have continuous coordination between the various departments. This would help in providing better patient care.

Along with providing treatment, there is also a pressing need to put in place systems of disease prevention. I will mention a few facts about the prevalence and projection of some lifestyle diseases which highlight the situation that India could be faced with. The World Health Organization has cautioned that India could become the diabetes capital of the world. Diabetics in India are currently around 42 million, and it is estimated that this figure will almost double and rise to 80 million by 2030. The Cardiological Society of India has estimated that the country is likely to have 100 million heart patients - nearly 60 per cent of the world's heart patients by the year 2020. All this has lead WHO to calculate that diabetes and heart disease in India will mean a loss of about US $335 billion over the next 10 years. This is a large economic cost to the nation. A comprehensive approach is needed to combat the increasing prevalence of these lifestyle diseases. Our health system, therefore, must assume the responsibility of not only treating people, but also advising and guiding them about how to deal and indeed, prevent some of these medical conditions. Regular campaigns should be organized by the Government and institutions to create awareness on a wide scale.

It is good to know that this hospital will be making efforts to disseminate health related information and impart health services in its neighbourhood, through camps conducted in communities and in schools. Special attention should be given to women and children. This is important. In our country, one woman dies every seven minutes due to child birth complications. Every year, one million children born in India, die before they are 28 days old. These figures, in a UNICEF report, point towards the work that we need to do, to protect children from infections and reduce the rate of maternal mortality. I always also emphasize and encourage medical institutions and hospitals, wherever they are located, to make regular visits to rural areas. To reach out to the rural areas, medical camps with mobile medical units can be useful in providing basic healthcare. I hope this Hospital will organise such activities.

In today's era of ICT, we should also look at using technology in our mission of health for all. Tele-medicine has been found to be one of the most cost effective ways of serving a large number of patients, some of whom may not have access to conventional primary health facilities. Tele-medicine should be employed on a wider scale for knowledge sharing between different hospitals and doctors. This would help in better patient care.

Great strides are being made in medical research and disease management. Newer medicines and more effective ways of treatment with minimum side effects are needed. Medical research is an essential component of an effective healthcare system. In India, a single doctor attends to a large number of patients. This provides a rich base for undertaking medical research. I do hope that this institution will devote time and support medical research. At the same time we should draw on our traditional medical systems which contain many useful methods of treatment. Different streams of medicine - allopathy, traditional systems and alternate therapies have a role to play, and a coordinated approach between them should be encouraged.

Abiding with ethics is an absolute necessity if high standards are to be maintained. The expertise and professional skills of Indian doctors is acknowledged across the world. The medical profession is not only a 24 X 7 commitment, but it is a profession of giving and caring. For a doctor, a sense of compassion is as important as his or her professional and technical skills. For the patient, a good doctor is not only an aid-giver, but also a friend. Hippocrates, considered the Father of Medicine wrote way back in the 5th Century BC that, "some patients, though conscious that their condition is perilous, recover their health simply through their contentment with the goodness of the physician." I would urge doctors and medical practitioners to follow the highest standards of medical ethics, so as to maintain the reputation of the medical profession, of being a service to humankind.

I am confident that with patient-centric care, integrity and excellence as the core values embedded in its philosophy, the Seven Hills Hospital will build a reputation of quality healthcare and become a centre of excellence in research and academics. I would once again convey my best wishes to the Seven Hills Hospital.

Thank you,

Jai Hind!

Disclaimer: Website designed by National Informatics Centre. Contents Provided By President’s Secretariat.