Rural Med Crisis
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01 November 2011
By Kounteya Sinha
New Delhi India
IMA Spanner in 3.5 Year Course
A day after TOI reported on the Union health ministry’s plans to roll out the 3.5–year medical degree, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) asked the Medical Council of India (MCI) not to compromise on patients’ safety.
Reacting to Union health minister Ghulab Nabi Azad’s 3–week ultimatum to MCI on BRM (Bachelor of Rural Medicine), IMA national president Dr Vinay Aggarwal said MCI would not bend before the government and refused to endorse the course. “IMA is willing to cooperate with the government to find a solution on rural health,” his letter said.
It added, “There are better ways to overcome the shortage of modern medicine professionals in rural area. Lowering the standard of medical education and producing low–quality professionals is not the solution.” Aggarwal said MCI is “duty bound to consider patient safety and cannot obliviously reverse a process initiated by the Bhore Committee report of 1946 to abolish such mediocre short–term courses.”
“The notion that over 30% of primary health centres do not have an MBBS doctor is not supported by statistics. Only 5.3% of PHCs are without a qualified doctor... compulsory rural health posting of MBBS graduates for one–year after internshipwouldmakeavailable 30,000 MBBS graduates every year. NHRC has come out against such a course,” IMA said.