It has decided to launch a three-year medical course keeping in mind the nation’s acute shortage of doctors and specialists
New Delhi: Despite objections raised by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), the Union Health Ministry has decided to launch a three-year medical course (mini MBBS) with six months of rotational internship from the next academic session.
The course named the Bachelor of Science (Community Health) has been worked out keeping in mind the nation’s acute shortage of doctors and specialists.
The new medical course will create mid-level health professionals with candidates eligible to apply being students who have studied physics, chemistry and biology in the high secondary (10+2) level.
After acquiring the degree, the graduates will be employed as Community Health Officers by state governments at district levels, an official said.
“The proposed course is likely to be introduced in the states willing to adopt it from 2013. in order to address the serious concern of shortage of availability of human resources in the health sector in rural areas, the government is committed to introduce the course, with in-built safeguards,” he said.
The Medical Council of India (MCI) recently cleared the introduction of the three-and-a half-year course.
MCI Board Chairman Dr K K Talwar had said this special cadre of health workers will be trained mainly in district hospitals, then placed in sub centers or primary health centers and to be taught “some module of clinical work”. The cadre can diagnose and treat basic medical cases, get involved in immunization programmes and administer extended first aid.
The Planning Commission’s high-level expert group too has strongly backed the all new health cadre and had said that as a career progression incentive, they should be promoted to the level of public health officers after 10 years of service.
The committee envisages that by 2022 India should actually have colleges teaching B.Sc. Community Health in all the districts that have over 5-lakh population.
Health ministry has been pushing for the introduction of this cadre to tackle the menace of doctors unwilling to serve in rural areas.
Only 26% of doctors in India live in rural areas, serving 72% of the population. Urban density of doctors is nearly four times than in rural areas, and that of nurses also three times higher.