Medical students at government colleges in the state would soon be able to access and download the latest information anywhere on the campus, with the state government deciding to make wi-fi mandatory at these institutions.
Jitendra Awhad, the newly-appointed minister for medical education, said on Tuesday that this was discussed at a meeting on deans of state-run medical colleges recently and it was decided to maximise the use of technology to improve the services for patients.
"Our students should be able to access the latest information on health care and the developments in surgery. Their libraries will also be connected to world class digital libraries of medical colleges," Awhad said.
Some medical institutions across the country have taken similar initiatives recently, like Bangalore Medical College and the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, with the aim to boost academics and research.
The minister said the focus on technology was part of a bigger plan to overhaul the medical education system in the state.
He said it had been observed that several doctors, who were well versed in their respective areas, struggled when it came to communicating with patients and their relatives
"We have decided to introduce communication skills as an additional subject. This will help them to treat patients well and to handle difficult situations better," Awhad said.
The minister was obviously referring to the regular incidents in which doctors and medical staff are attacked by relatives who feel their kin have not been treated properly.
The minister said funds would not be a constraint. "We want to upgrade our medical services and orders will be issued with immediate effect. We will allocate the required funds to all colleges," he said.
Awhad said the directions would apply to private institutions also. "Strict action will be taken against institutions that do not abide by the instructions," he said.
The minister also mentioned that elections would be conducted at medical college hostels to involve students and keep a check on the administration.
"When these elections are conducted we will extend this to colleges too. This would help to groom doctors into good leaders. Leadership qualities will help them manoeuvre in difficult situations, particularly disasters and calamities," Awhad said.
The minister said he has also asked medical colleges to prepare a vision document for their institutions, to work towards making them world class.