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The 64th Annual Armed Forces Medical Conference being held at the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune from 02 to 05 Feb 2016 has examined research proposals and strategies aimed at improving health care delivery in the Armed Forces.

The 54th Armed Forces Medical Research Committee (AFMRC) meeting concluded its examination of over 250 new research proposals. The committee is headed by Director General, Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS). It includes Directors General Medical Services of the Army, Navy and Air Force, Director General Hospital Services (DGHS), Director General Dental Services (DGDS), Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Medical), Director & Commandant, AFMC and a number of eminent persons drawn from different disciplines of medical science.  The deliberations also included discussion on policy matters, academic priorities, and general thrust of scientific research.

A total of 114 new projects were approved for research in 2016. Medical research in the Armed Forces will receive a major boost through increased collaboration with DRDO at all levels. The two organizations work closely in life sciences research. The sustained financial support for research has been possible because of the encouragement being received from the three Service Chiefs, Ministry of Defence and DRDO.

On 04 Feb 2016, award winning published research papers were presented. These included publications on ‘ Prevalence of molecular subtypes of breast cancer’, ‘ Initial experience of re-stenosis in patients with drug releasing baloons’, ‘ Experience with Whipples surgery for removal of the Pancreas and duodenum’ and ‘ Profile of HIV patients on second line anti-retroviral therapy’.

During the 64th Armed Forces Medical Conference, Specialists Conferences will be held separately by Departments of AFMC for practicing specialist officers of their respective disciplines. They will also review completed AFMRC Projects of their own disciplines.

There will be a special session on perspective challenges, where medical administrative issues as well as development of human resources within the Armed Forces Medical Services will be discussed. Presentations will be made on ‘ Soft skills in patient care and its impact on clientele satisfaction’, ‘ Current status and scope of integration of hospital information system ( HIS) in the AFMS’, ‘ Specialisation and beyond in AFMS’ and ‘ECHS- Challenges faced by AFMS’.

The deliberations will conclude with a closing address by Lt Gen B K Chopra, PVSM, AVSM, PHS, DGAFMS.

The first AFMRC was organized in 1953. Over the years the conference has gradually expanded in scope to become a forum for planning, evaluation and implementation not only of research but also innovations in health care. While the principal focus of research is related to the requirements of the Armed Forces, the results achieved are made available to all health care professionals.