The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the private sector must come forward in health-care sector in India to fulfill the health-care requirements of the whole nation. He was addressing the 43rd National Conference of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons of India with the theme “Innovate, inspire, integrate”, in Chennai today.
The Vice President said that Science & Technology has been part of India’s culture right from the ancient times and we invented zero, place values, algebra, concept of atom, calculation of eclipses, among others. ‘Sushruta Samhita’ talks of surgery while Charak describes hundreds of diseases, their causes and treatment methods, he added.
Saying the budding maxillofacial surgeons of today have a wider surgical horizon to explore, the Vice President said that the role of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in the society is of paramount importance and indispensable, especially during the time of tragic accidents or oral cancers.
The Vice President said that India is the “oral cancer” capital of the world and it is among the top three cancers in India in terms of its incidence. This creates a responsibility for the oral and maxillofacial surgeons not only to treat this disease but also help in preventing the occurrence of oral cancer by increasing anti-tobacco awareness, he added.
The Vice President urged the healthcare professionals to encourage people to go for early and regular medical checkups. Lack of early identification and diagnosis often leads to patients seeking care only in the terminal stages, he said. Steps must be taken to reduce the cost of oral & maxillofacial surgery and make it affordable to common man, including those in rural areas, he added.
The Vice President said that early detection is crucial for any disease, more so for cancer. Although preventive, curative and palliative care programmes have been initiated at national and regional levels, these measures seem to be too negligible for combating the spread of cancer, he said. Unaffordable healthcare is a serious social handicap and Ayushman Bharat scheme would be a real boon to the poor and the needy, he added.
The Vice President urged all healthcare professionals to create awareness regarding the maxillofacial treatment procedures and highlight them at all medical facilities including PHCs. There is a need to lay down a strong referral network to address them at the nearest district hospital where a specialized OMF service can be set up, he added.
The Minister for Fisheries and Personnel & Administrative Reforms, Tamil Nadu, D. Jayakumar, the President, Dental Council of India, Dibyendu Mazumdar, the President, Japanese Society of OMS, Mihikiki Kogo, the President of AOMSI, Philip Mathrew and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
“I was informed that the AOMSI and its Japanese counterpart the Japanese Society of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons (JSOMS) are signing a MoU for collaborations in research, knowledge transfer and student exchange programs. My best wishes to them. It is essential that countries like Japan and India both with a great history of medical genius must exchange knowledge.
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) as a specialty originally began in the UK and USA in the late 1800s as a branch of dentistry called oral surgery which primarily handled trauma and diseases of the teeth and the mouth. The specialty in India took its roots in Mumbai when Prof Ginwalla completed his training from Canada under Dr Risdon and established the first formal training program in India for Oral Surgery.
Currently the specialty has been re designated as Oral & Maxillofacial surgery. The budding maxillofacial surgeons of today have a wider surgical horizon to explore; extending from the practice of surgery of mouth and jaws to surgery of the head and neck, bony orbit(bone around the eyes) and the cranium(bones of the skull).