Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur announced that the Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) would be upgraded on the analogy of All India Institute of Medical Sciences under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Sewa Yojna, (PMSSY).

Health Minister said it in a two day conference on Continued Medical Education, organized by Department of Gastroenterology at IGMC, Shimla today in which delegates from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, PGI, Chandigarh, Hindu Rao Hospital, Apollo Hospital, Delhi, GB Pant Hospital, New Delhi, SGPC, Lucknow and Dr. Manju Gautam from Texas (United States) deliberated in the conference.

Thakur said that the proposal for granting the status was under consideration of Government of India. He said that endeavour of the State Government was to develop IGMC as a prestigious institute so that it could provide qualitative and better health services to the people of the State. The Minister asked doctors that they should be humble and not suffer from vanity and moreover they should not be caught in the vortex of ignorance and unethical deeds.

The Minister said that as medical science was fast changing every day hence it becomes compulsory for the doctors and specialists in the field to keep pace with new technologies and advancements in health sector. Since last few years, there have been exciting advances and innovation in screening, diagnosis and therapy of patients suffering from various Gastro-Intestinal (GI) disorders like peptic ulcer, cancer of GI tracts, gall stones, hepatitis etc. which is known to not only the doctors but also to the common man.

Kaul Singh Thakur said that gastroenterology was a super specialized field and besides its set up in IGMC, the Government was developing such super-speciality complex in Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College, Tanda in Kangra so as to provide better medical facilities to the needy and ailing humanity. The Government was endeavouring to strengthen RPGMC hospital with special services for children and adolescents by strengthening its paediatrics wing, said he. He said that 11.6 percent increase was made in the budget 2013-14, wherein Rs. 1187 crore had been provided for health sector in Himachal Pradesh and Rs.150 crore for developing super speciality multi complex and hospital at RPGMC, Tanda.

Himachal Pradesh has a vast health infrastructure which is better than the national average and our health indices are one of the best in the country, the Government is now focusing to strengthen the secondary and tertiary health care in the State.

The Health Minister said that the deliberations, discussions, debates and presentations would help in providing the strategies to address the complex challenges erupting in medical field every day. The Minister asked the doctors to be ready to serve in rural areas of the State so that qualitative and better health services could be provided to rural populace. He also honoured the distinguished guests who had arrived to attend the conference from various parts of the country including the retired faculties of IGMC by presenting them mementoes.

Dr. Jaishri Sharma, Director, Medical Education and S.S. Kaushal, Principal, IGMC also spoke on the occasion. Earlier, Dr. Brij Sharma, Head of Department of Gastroenterology welcomed the Minister and detailed about the functioning of the department. Dr. Rajesh Sharma, Assistant Professor proposed vote of thanks. Dr. Y.P. Chawala, Director, PGI, Chandigarh, Dr. Kulbhushan Sood, Director, Health Services and other medical fraternity were present on the occasion.