New Delhi, Nov 27 : President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said the task ahead for the country's doctors is challenging as the disease burden remains high, and suggested that they take a "preventive approach" against a mere "curative one".
"Coupled with it, we have issues of delivery, access to services and affordability," he said as the General Duty Medical Officers of the Second Foundation Course, conducted by the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, called on him at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
"The disease burden in our country is undergoing change. We have to tackle communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and dengue, and at the same time, deal with the rising incidence of non-communicable diseases," he said.
Kovind added that with dedication, drive and determination, medical goals can be achieved.
"The adverse male to female sex ratio is a major cause of concern. Under-nutrition and malnutrition remain the area where we have a lot more to do."
Stressing doctors should take a "preventive approach to health rather than solely a curative one", he said that "in this context, integrating our traditional systems of medicine - AYUSH (ayurveda, unani, siddha and homeopathy) into our healthcare system must be a priority".
Stressing on use of digital technology combined with Aadhaar and mobile telephony, Kovind said: "As young and bright minds, you must engage in research and innovation and see how best we can use our scientific and human resources for the benefit of all.
"Digital Technology combined with Aadhaar and Mobile telephony can work wonders for healthcare. Our E-Aushadhi programme is on course. Tele-medicine is another effective technology intervention which we must put to greater use."
Noting that the global community at the United Nations in 2015 adopted a menu of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he said that health challenges form an important part of it. "The SDGs have been dove-tailed in our national development programmes."
"And for India to achieve them, we have to do exceedingly well on the health front."
Mentioning that the goal of universal health coverage is a priority for the government, Kovind said that the implementation of the National Health Mission critically depends on commitment of the general duty officers.
"This needs effective governance at the community, village and district levels."