Address by Governor at the presentation of the 44st Dhanwantari Award to Dr D. Nageshwar Reddy, Asian Institute of Gastroenterology
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the presentation of the 44st Dhanwantari Award to Dr D. Nageshwar Reddy, Asian Institute of Gastroenterology at Crystal Room, Hotel Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai at 10.15 am on Sunday 26 March 2017
Shri Girish Mahajan, Hon’ble Minister of Medical Education, Government of Maharashtra, Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra and former Union Minister for Home Affairs, Padma Vibhushan Dr B K Goyal, eminent Cardiologist and President of the Dhanwantari Medical Foundation, Dr Smt Lekha Adik Pathak, Dr Jivraj Shah, Honorary Secretary, Dhanwantari Foundation, Padma Bhushan Dr Nageshwar Reddy, Chairman of the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology and the most distinguished recipient of this year’s Dhanwantari Award, past recipients, doctors, invitees, ladies and gentlemen…
I am indeed delighted to associate myself, for the third consecutive year, with the presentation of the prestigious Dhanwantari Award to Dr D. Nageshwar Reddy this morning.
I am here to attend the awards presentation for two main reasons. Any request coming from Dr B K Goyal is a command for me. Apart from being the face of the Bombay Hospital, Dr Goyal has been the Governor’s Honorary Medical Advisor for the last four decades !
Dr Goyal has attended to, at least 15 Governors of Maharashtra and made sure that they completed their tenure in good health! Like my predecessors, I also want to complete my tenure in good health !
Mention was made that Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde Ji has been attending the Dhanwantari Awards function for the last 44 years ! The fact that he has stayed healthy and maintained his cheerful smile all these years is a testimony of his good health and the best medical care he has received from Dr B K Goyal.
The second reason why I am here today is because of my immense respect for Dr Nageshwar Reddy and his work.
Dr Nageshwar Reddy is a world leader in the field of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy. He is an academician and researcher whose work has been published in several international journals. Dr Reddy set up the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology in Hyderabad in the year 1994.
During the last 22 years, he has built and nurtured a world class institution of gastroenterology.
Through his noble profession, he has given a fresh lease of life to thousands of suffering patients by providing them the best of healthcare at an affordable cost. Dr Nageshwar Reddy is one of the few specialists in India who brought Hyderabad on the world map of healthcare destinations.
The Dhanwantari Award is a fitting recognition of his matchless work and contributions to society.
I congratulate Dr Nageshwar Reddy for being selected for the Dhanwantari Award.
I also compliment Dr B K Goyal, Dr Jivraj Shah and the Dhanwantari Foundation for instituting the award and maintaining the highest standards of selection of the award winners for all these years.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are meeting in the immediate backdrop of the recent strike by Resident Doctors all over Maharashtra following an incident of attack on a doctor by relatives of patients. The incident was unfortunate and it is bound to affect the concerned doctor and his family. However there are laws to protect doctors, and I am sure the law will take its own course to deal with the attackers. One should not forget that everybody is bound by law.
Thousands of poor patients were deprived of affordable health care at government hospitals across Maharashtra. Patient services, especially out-patient departments, were affected as doctors took only emergency cases. Hundreds of routine surgeries were cancelled or rescheduled, causing great inconvenience to thousands of patients and their families. A few serious patients lost their life for want of medical treatment. The Honourable Courts had to intervene to end the strike. Thankfully a sad episode has ended. However, it has brought the issue of doctor – patient relations into sharp focus.
The doctor-patient relationship is central to the practice of healthcare and in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. The nature of relationship determines the success of the treatment.
Unfortunately the relations between patients and doctors have come under great stress. There have been growing incidents of violence against doctors, reported from different parts of the country. Angry relatives of patients do not hesitate to attack doctors, something unthinkable some years ago.
We certainly need strong laws and effective implementation of laws to protect our doctors from such attacks. However, and at the same time, I think we need to take a fresh look at the relations between a doctor and patient.
The relations between a doctor and a patient should be based on mutual trust. That sacred trust will be maintained if doctors are trained to be human and humane and they practise their craft with utmost compassion for the suffering people.
‘Compassion’ is the most important quality. Suffering could be due to either real illness or imaginary. Both need delicate handling of the patient.
Apart from compassion, there has to be good communication between the doctor and the patient and his relatives. Absence of communication or abrupt communication with patients and their relatives, creates misunderstanding in the minds of patients about the doctors.
There will be times when a doctor cannot cure the patient. There will be times when he will have to send the patient to a bigger city hospital for special treatment. But there is no excuse for not comforting the patient through good communication!
A well known Professor of Community Medicine has strongly recommended inclusion of ‘Humanities’ in Medical Education to make the learning of doctors complete. The importance of including humanities in medical education has been realized by many countries of the world. I would urge the Hon’ble Minister for Medical Education to consider incorporating humanities in Medical Education.
Ladies and gentlemen,
According to the Bhagavata Purana, Lord Dhanvantari emerged from the Ocean of Milk with the pot of amrita during the process of Sagar Manthan. It is believed that uttering the name of Dhanvantari gives sound health for oneself and one’s family. The creator of Dhanvantari Medical Foundation, Dr B K Goyal has been abundantly blessed by Dhanvantari as can be seen from his active life. Likewise, Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde Ji has also been blessed by Dhanvantari because he has been attending this programme for the last 44 years. During the last 2 years and 7 months, I have also been blessed by Dhanvantari as I remained in the best of health despite holding twin charge as Governor of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
I pray to Lord Dhanvantari to bless each one of you so that all of you remain in the best of health and happiness.
On that note, I once again congratulate Dr Nageshwar Reddy for his outstanding services to improving healthcare in the country and I wish him more glory and success in the years to come.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!