Minister of State for Science and Technology Y.S. Chowdary launched the country's first 'Center for Control of Chronic Condition', hoping it will bridge the gap in healthcare. The Center for Control of Chronic Condition is an international partnership between Delhi's AIIMS, US-based Emory University, the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).
The minister said the Indian government has always lacked a master blueprint for the development of healthcare in the country. "But the Center for Control of Chronic Condition will bridge the gap that has existed till now in the country".
According to health ministry statistics, chronic conditions -- heart diseases, cancer, strokes, diabetes and hyper tension -- are the leading cause behind deaths in India. They account for 60 percent of the total number of deaths in the country. The minister said that healthcare conditions in the rural parts of the country were so bad that doctors could not even diagnose the patients' problems.
"There are situations where there are doctors who get their graduation degrees without even having the capability of doing the basic diagnosis, in such a situation the patients have to suffer.
"This center will help the people in getting awareness about the problems they suffer from," he said.
Through the establishment of the institution, the stakeholders will generate world class knowledge which can impact policy and practice aimed at reducing the burden of chronic conditions in India and beyond.
The health ministry's statistics also say that chronic conditions cost India between 4 - 10 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in terms of lost productivity. Srinath Reddy, president of PHFI, said that it was a landmark day for Indian healthcare as the task of handling chronic conditions by doctors would be made much easier.