Dr.Parveen Kumar, gastroenterologist and physician, who chairs the British Medical Association Board of Sciences said on Thursday that it was imperative to understand the deleterious effects of climate change on human health and also change the way the medical profession responded to new threats.
Delivering Shri M.V.K.Iyer Oration 2018 at Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth in Puducherry on Thursday, Dr. Kumar noted that climate change had profound effect on the average global temperature with long-term consequences such as severe drought, increase in pests and infectious diseases. “With antimicrobial resistance, there are worse things in store. We will not be able to face this threat,” he cautioned.
The former President of the British Medical Association and former Vice President of the Royal College of Physicians, Dr.Kumar who was delivering the oration on the topic ‘Changing face of medicine’ deliberated at length on the effects of climate change, the ageing population and multi-morbidity.
“New advances in technology and modern therapy with new drugs increase the cost of delivering care to patients. The way we train doctors should be appropriate to the problems and the changes that we encounter in the society,” she said.
Dr. Kumar spoke about the complexity of treating the ageing population with their varied disorders, the alarming increase in obesity leading to various diseases like diabetes and heart disease. “Earlier medicine used to be simple but ineffective and now it is complex and can be dangerous. This has to be sorted out,” she said.
Stating that conflict has turned out to be the biggest threat to human development, Dr. Kumar said: “We are facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. The conflicts lead to destruction of infrastructure in the country. There is a big gap between the rich and the poor and gender inequality continues to persist.”
Dr. Kumar emphasised that doctors should be committed to integrity, compassion and altruism. Medical professionals need to focus on continuous improvement and strive towards excellence while working as a team.
Dr. Prashanth Rajagopalan, vice-chairman and Trustee of Sri Balaji Educational and Charitable and Public Trust, presented the orator medal and Dr. Urjitha Rajagopalan, Managing Trustee, presented the citation to Dr. Parveen Kumar.
K.R.Sethuraman, Vice- Chancellor of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, M.Ravishankar, Dean of Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, were present.