The need of the hour for public welfare is quality healthcare and easy access to it, said J. Radhakrishnan, secretary of the department of health and family welfare. Though several programmes were in place for the effective treatment of people suffering from communicable diseases, a great challenge for healthcare providers was the rise of new diseases along with new forms of existing diseases, not just in India, but all over the world, the secretary said on Wednesday. Stating that the focus should be on ‘cause management,’ the official said, local bodies across Tamil Nadu had done a wonderful job by initiating measures to prevent the outbreak of dengue. Mr. Radhakrishnan also stressed on the importance of ‘inter-sectoral cooperation’ — different departments and schemes like the highways, public works, local bodies and integrated child development services coming together to tackle problems related to communicable diseases. Mr. Radhakrishnan was speaking at the inauguration of a healthcare management seminar at SRM University in Kattankulathur, organised by its department of community medicine as part of a memorandum of understanding between the University and the School of Public Health and Community Medicine of New South Wales. T.R. Pachamuthu, chancellor of the University and Michael Carter, Australian trade commissioner, were among others who spoke on the occasion.

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