- Media Release

Bangalore, Aug 9, 2014 : Lavish encomiums were showered on St John’s Medical College and Hospital, which held the valedictory function of its golden jubilee, for being a pioneer in several areas of health service and also setting up new benchmarks in compelling and encouraging young medical professionals to take up rural service and care for the neglected as well as under-privileged sections of society.

A galaxy of dignitaries from Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Home Minister K J George, Transport Minister B Ramalinga Reddy, Medical Education Minister Dr Sharan Prakash Patil and CBCI President Most Rev Basilios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos, Archbishop of Trivandrum, as well as, Apostolic Nuncio Most Rev Salvatore Pennacchio, Vatican’s Envoy to India, lauded the contribution and service of all institutions coming under the umbrella of the St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences.

The Chief Minister, who is known to be reticent in offering accolades to any individual or institution, was quite effusive and set the tone in praising the St John’s brand of service, when he observed quite fittingly: ''This may be a golden jubilee for you. But it is a golden moment for me.”

Harking upon the ancient ethos of the country, he said the doctors and the healing profession had been equated with God due to the divine prowess in ameliorating sickness and suffering since time immemorial. ''Doctors are the most respected sections of society due to their vast knowledge and qualities of kindness, compassion and humane approach in treating the sick,” he said.

Empathy, Sympathy to Patients

He, however, regretted that the medical profession had been so commercialised in recent times and even debased that most of the present generation of doctors lacked the two basic qualities of kindness and humane approach, which used to be the hallmarks of the medical profession. ''Doctors should have sympathy and empathy with patients,” he said urging the Medical Institutions to emulate the example of St John’s Medical College and Hospital in encouraging and even compelling the doctors to serve in rural and remote areas.

While there was dearth of funds for the health sector at the State and National level, the Chief Minister felt it was paradoxical that all the investments in the health sector was mainly concentrated in big cities and urban centres to the utter neglect of the rural and remote areas. The main problem was the unwillingness of the doctors to serve in rural areas, Siddaramaiah said.

Exhorting the medical professionals to never forget their commitment to follow the tenets of the hippocratic oath, the Chief Minister said it was laudable that the founders of the St John’s Institutions insisted on making two-year rural service mandatory for all doctors since the beginning.

Assuring the St John’s Institutions of all support from the Government, the Chief Minister said the College and Hospital and allied institutions have become a ''feather in the cap of Bangalore” and warmly acknowledged that the Doctors and Alumnus of the College have won accolades for themselves and their alma mater in India and globally.

Govt to Support Intake Hike

Medical Education Minister Dr Sharan Prakash Patil, who is a medical professional himself, won the hearts of the audience by his gesture of staying till the end of the function, assured all help to the Institution from the Government and promised to support the case of the St John’s Medical College for enhancing its annual intake for admissions from the present 60 to 150 seats as the State and country needed quality doctors willing to serve in rural and remote areas.

Transport Minister B Ramalinga Reddy and Home Minister K J George, both of whom are known to be close to the St John’s family, said the College and the Hospital and their record of service to the people of the State and the country has been a model for all other institutions. ''Christian missionaries have pioneered and have become synonymous for their exemplary record of service in the fields of healthcare and education,” remarked Reddy and said St John’s was a shining example.

CBCI President Most Rev Basilios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos, Archbishop of Trivandrum, who presided over the function, said St John’s institutions have embodied the divine intent of healing touch in keeping with its motto ''He Shall Live Because of Me.” The village outreach programme as well as the two-year bond for rural service for all doctors passing out of the college and the emphasis of community service projects were heart-warming, he said.

Second Best Medical School in India

St John’s Medical College and Hospital, the first and only one of its kind established and run by the CBCI, Cardinal Cleemis said has been rightly rated as the second best medical school in India and has been consistently ranked among the top 10 medical colleges in the country over the years.

Apostolic Nuncio Most Rev Salvatore Pennacchio, Vatican’s Envoy to India, who could not reach Bangalore despite reaching Delhi from Rome late last night, in his message read out by Fr Lawrence D’Souza, Director of the St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, appreciated the healing ministry of the St John’s institution and the service to the poor and marginalised sections of society. The sick, lonely, marginalised, neglected and abandoned sections of the society need special care, he said and pointed out that the present Pope Francis accorded the highest priority to the healing ministry.

Dr Auburn Jacob, Alumnus of the 1973 batch and Director of Emmaus Swiss Leprosy Mission, serving in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, emphasised the need to provide suitable incentives to make rural service more attractive to the young medical professionals.

Special mementos were presented to the former CBCI President and Archbishop of Bombay His Eminence Valerian Cardinal Gracias and Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Church. Archbishop of Bangalore Dr Bernard Morass, former chairman of the Governing Board, and its present chairman Most Rev Francis Kalarackal, were also honoured. Former Associate Directors and Deans were felicitated.

Fry Lawrence D’Souza, Director, welcomed. Dr K Srinivasan, Dean of the St John’s Medical College, proposed a vote of thanks.

The valedictory function of the golden jubilee was followed with a solemn mass concelebrated with CBCI President His Eminence Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos, as the main celebrant and a large number of Archbishops, Bishops and Priests.



About St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bengaluru

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