South India was appreciated in general by Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. He also appreciated Kerala in particular for the rapid strides made in the health sector and having indicators such as Mother Mortality Rate (MMR), Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Total Fertility Rate (TFR), comparable to the developed countries.
Speaking at the convocation of Kerala University of Health Services at Thrissur, Azad said it would not have been possible without the progressive outlook and leadership provided by successive State governments, irrespective of party affiliations.
Asking other States in emulating the best practices of these front-runner states in the health sector, he urged the rest of India to learn from them.
"The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is also considering proposals to give a boost to the medical education sector, especially increasing the intake of MBBS students, during 12th Five Year Plan, beginning this year," he stated.
These include: - further relaxation in infrastructure requirements for establishment of new medical colleges, formulating guidelines for allowing district hospitals to be used for establishing medical colleges on the PPP mode, increase in intake capacity from 50 or 100 seats to 100 or 150 seats respectively at UG level on completion of 10 years and compulsory posting of one year for medical graduates at primary health centres and postgraduates at community health centres as part of their internship periods.