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New Delhi : Union Health and Family Welfare Minister on December 12, 2020, digitally addressed the students of Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC), Delhi,  on their convocation ceremony. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, was also present at the occasion.

Dr Vardhan said, “I am honoured and privileged to be here at the convocation ceremony of the illustrious Lady Hardinge Medical College. It is another milestone in the decorated history of this college, as today the 99th batch of MBBS students will be awarded their degrees.”

Appreciating the fact that LHMC is one of the oldest medical colleges in the country, he noted, “Lady Hardinge is a historical institution. Some of you may be interested to know that LHMC was established even before landmark buildings of Delhi like Connaught Place, Parliament, and the Rashtrapati Bhavan came up. At the time of independence, and for many years after that, this remained the only medical college in Delhi.”

He continued, “In the last 104 years of its existence, this institution has been a symbol of Women empowerment in our country. Today, Lady Hardinge alumni occupy positions of pride in India and abroad and have made laudable contributions in the fields of health care as well as medical education and brought glory to the institution and the country. This institution has also been ranked within the top 10 medical colleges of the country and has been consistently producing outstanding medical professionals.”

Applauding the contribution of the college in the fight against COVID, the Union Minister said, “I am proud to acknowledge how LHMC rose to the unprecedented challenge of COVID19 and excelled in their battle against this deadly virus. Lady Hardinge was among one of the first Government institutions in Delhi to establish a state-of-the-art facility to conduct RT-PCR tests. As the pandemic spread and various treatment modalities were being tested against this little known virus, LHMC was one of the centers for conducting trials for evaluating usefulness of convalescent plasma therapy.”

He added, “I feel elated to highlight that even during this period, LHMC continued to provide full essential services, including cancer surgery, chemotherapy services for cancer, and blood transfusion to thalassemics, while also providing treatment to other Non-Covid patients.”

Reiterating the government’s commitment to expansion and development of the college, he noted, “To build upon its 100-year foundational heritage, and to keep it at the forefront of medical education and healthcare, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is committed to expanding and accelerating the ongoing development of this institution and to bring its infrastructure at par with best global institutes.”

The Phase 1 of the Comprehensive Redevelopment Plan is nearing completion and the Academic and Oncology Block should be handed over for use this month itself, Dr Vardhan said. The Accident & Emergency, Inpatient and Outpatient Blocks are rapidly nearing completion and expected to be operational by  March 31. 2021, he said, according to a PIB release.  “We will also ensure that the Phase II, III, and IV of the Redevelopment master plan gets executed at the earliest so that specialty services like Nephrology, Urology, Cardiology, Cardio thoracic surgery and Neurosurgery are provided at LHMC,” he added

Dr  Vardhan reminded all the students that medicine is not just a profession but a vocation. “You should never stop learning and should continuously keep upgrading your knowledge and skills. At the same time, it is important to show compassion while treating patients.Never forget your humanity, or that of your patients.”

197 Undergraduate students, 129 Post graduate students, and 7 post doctorals received their degrees on December 12, 2020.