Address urban-rural divide in healthcare: Venkaiah Naidu

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu at the inauguration of GEM Hospital at Perungudi today. Chief Minister, Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister, O Panneerselvam, Fisheries Minister, D Jayakumar, Transport Minister, Vijayabaskar, GEM Hospital Chairman Dr C Palanivelu are present.

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu who was in the city to inaugurate the GEM Hospital today at Perungudi, took the occasion to take veiled digs at the Congress.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam were present on the occasion.

Speaking at the inauguration, Venkaiah Naidu said that Gandhiji after independence gave two advice.

“The first one is political and I don’t want to deal much on that. It was to disband Congress. Congress was a platform for attaining freedom. After we achieved freedom he (Gandhiji) asked to disband it and said the partymen can start their own political parties. Second is, he wanted everyone to move back to villages as India is losing it’s villages.”

Venkaiah Naidu adviced corporate hospitals starting institutions in  major cities to also start one hospital at another district headquarters in their State. “That should be the aim of the private sector in the coming days to take care of the urban rural divide in healthcare,” he said.

Congratulating GEM hospital’s founder and Chairman, C Palanivelu and his family’s contribution towards healthcare, the Vice President said, “I normally don’t encourage dynasty in public life. But here in service, dynasty is good. But in public life, dynasty rule should not be passed from father-son, grandson and all that. But in healthcare service, if the son and son-in-law follow their father and father-in-law, it is good for the country.”

Even Deputy Chief Minister, O Panneerselvam, who was present with him on stage, wasn’t spared by Venkaiah Naidu. The Vice President who took the stage after Panneerselvam addressed the gathering in English, said that everybody in a public function should speak in their local language.

“‘We must propogate, protect and also promote native languages. Culture and language go together,” Venkaiah Naidu said.


Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said that Tamilnadu was a State that not only had fertile land, but also fertile minds and praised the level of healthcare services here.

He said, “India has made significant strides in healthcare. However the biggest challenge is the huge difference in urban and rural areas. We need one medical College in every district. In Tamilnadu, I expect two medical colleges in every district.”

He said the way forward is to encourage the private sector in healthcare and Private Public partnerships. “There is a WHO norm that there should be one doctor for 1000 people. In order
to achieve this target, NITI Aayog commission has recommended opening of 187 more medical
colleges by 2022. The States and Centre will together reach the target,” he said.

Earlier at the start of the function Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam listed out the various healthcare initiatives of Tamilnadu in the past and pledged to maintain the status of Tamilnadu as the premiere healthcare centre of the country.

NT Bureau