Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday described medical service as an important pillar for any military, saying that in addition to their own combat-related duties, they are the most valuable second responders in times of natural, man-made calamities and crises, and are in a perpetual state of readiness.
Singh was inaugurating a four-day Indo-Pacific Military Health Exchange conference co-hosted by Armed Forces Medical Services and the US Indo-Pacific Command.
He also stressed the importance of military medicine and the need for increased cooperation among countries for improvement in medical research and training keeping with the present scenario, saying that the deliberations on these during the conference will be beneficial to all.
“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old. Therefore, new creations and innovations are necessary for the advancement in any field. I am glad to know that the session will showcase in-house innovations by our young and able medical officers,” he added.
Lauding the significant role played by the military medical teams in addressing the challenges posed by Covid-19, the Union Minister said despite limitations such as short warning period, pressure on existing infrastructure and disparity in resources, the last two years have brought out the very best among the medical fraternity, civil society volunteer groups and governments which went out of the way to help those in need during the pandemic.
He said the idea of Indo-Pacific reflects the sentiment of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (the world is one family).
He recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore in 2018 where he said, “The Indo-Pacific stands for a free, open and inclusive region which embraces all in a common pursuit of progress and prosperity. It includes all nations in this geography as also others beyond, who have a stake in it.”
This sentiment, Rajnath Singh said, is best exemplified by the contribution of the medical profession that has universally been considered noble.
Sharing his views on the important role played by women in the Armed Forces across the world, the Union Minister said the government believes in providing enhanced responsibilities to women at par with their male counterparts.
“Different countries have different terms of engagement and employment for women in uniform. In India, women have distinguished themselves in the field of combat medical care, not only as healthcare providers but also through their leadership at the highest level of the profession,” he added.