Haryana honours doctors aged above 75 with 'Vat Vriksha' award


CHANDIGARH: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Health Minister Anil Vij honoured 90 doctors above the age of 75 years on Sunday by presenting them with the ‘Vat Vriksha’ award for their dedicated service.

Dr R S Sangwan (92) from Sirsa was also among those who received the honour. Speaking on the occasion, Khattar said the doctors of today’s generation should take inspiration from their counterparts of the older generation and serve humanity with the same spirit and devotion.

Khattar said the process of opening one medical college in every district is underway to meet the demand of doctors in the state.

He said a target has been set to prepare 2,500 doctors every year and for this the MBBS seats have been increased to 1,685 from 700 in 2014.

The chief minister was addressing the ‘Doctors Day Award function’ organized under the aegis of Haryana Medical Council at Panchkula.

He appreciated the title “Vat Vriksha” chosen by the Haryana Medical Council to honour the elderly doctors.

Khattar said that at present the number of doctors in both private and government sectors in Haryana is about 13,000-14,000, whereas according to the UNO norms, there should be one doctor per 1,000 population.

“If we consider the population of Haryana as 2.70 crore in 2021, then 27,000 doctors are required,” an official statement quoted his as saying.

To meet this demand, a target has been set so that 2,500 new doctors are added each year, he added.

Khattar said that required support and cooperation is also being received from the central government in the health sector.

The National Cancer Institute has been established at Badsa in Jhajjar district. Apart from this, the process of setting up an AIIMS each in Rewari and Panchkula is going on, he said.

Twenty-five acres of land in Panchkula has already been handed over to the central government, he said. Vij said the Health Department has done a commendable job during the Covid pandemic.

He said the state is fully prepared to deal with a new variant which has been detected in some foreign countries.

The minister said he salutes all doctors, paramedical staff and ambulance drivers who bravely fought against the pandemic. He said that he knows how deadly this disease can be.

“But our doctors and medical staff worked day and night for Covid patients. Despite knowing the high-risk involved they discharged their duties with dedication to serve coronavirus patients,” Vij said.

Vij said 28 people belonging to the Health Department have lost their lives to Covid. He said that in their memory ‘Wall of Memory’ will be built in the headquarters and district hospitals.

RTPCR labs are being set up in all 22 districts, Vij further said, and claimed that Haryana is the first state where such labs are being set up in civil hospitals of every district for Covid testing.