GUWAHATI, Aug 11 - The tussle over the site of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the State may turn out to be pointless. In fact, the AIIMS may prove as useless as the IIT-Guwahati when the interests of the students of the State or the NE region are taken into consideration, observed noted cardiologist and former member of the National Board of Education of the Union Health Ministry Dr Amrit Kumar Barooah, who retired from the Gauhati Medical College as its principal about two decades back.
�Instead of the AIIMS, we should now concentrate more on setting up tertiary hospitals with good human resources in every district hospital. The authorities should select quality candidates for undergoing training outside the State on modular terms. This is important because a neurology department cannot function without a neurologist, a neurosurgeon, a neuropathologist and a neuro-biochemist,� he said, citing an example.
�We have to prepare different faculty members according to the norms of the Medical Council of India or the National Board of Examinations,� said Dr Barooah, who also headed a Union Health Ministry and Planning Commission-constituted commission in 2000 to examine the deficiencies of the NE States in the area of health care.
Moreover, the people of the State do not need a medical college in every district. They want good tertiary hospitals run by good humane souls.
Speaking on the debate on the site of the AIIMS in the State, he said the AIIMS is basically meant for research. The patient pattern of Assam and the NE region is quite different from that of Delhi, Chennai and other parts of the country because of the different disease patterns. �The health of our people in general is good. Complicated diseases that we encounter in other parts of the country are not generally found in our region,� he pointed out.
�The AIIMS here may turn out to be as useless as the IIT-Guwahati with regard to admission of our student aspirants. Those conducting research in the AIIMS will also be coming from other parts of the country as faculty members or research scholars. Our students will hardly get any scope to get entry into the institution,� maintained the noted physician.
Dr Barooah added that the people of Assam today need family medicine. Family medicine is aimed at treating the family and guide them in health and other matters, he said, adding that he had introduced family medicine as a Diploma in National Board of Examination (DNB).
But he regretted that the MD DNBs are no longer practising family medicine. Most of them are sitting in pharmacies as specialised medical practitioners at a time when the people of the State are in need of family medicine and good hospitals run by good humane souls.