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Medical education in India looking for achhe din

The future of India’s health status and healthcare appears to be beyond bleak if one were to just glance at the health human resource crunch and a seemingly ostensible indifference in addressing this crisis.

India has just about seven doctors per 10,000 persons, as against a Russia which has 43.1 doctors per 10,000; USA has 24.5 and Brazil 18.9 per 10,000.

At a very simplistic level, this indicates that India currently has a deficit of approximately 300,000 doctors, and when compared to the annual supply of only 44,300 MBBS graduates, it is a confounding comparison.

So, how does India plan to address this situation? What is it doing to ramp up the number of doctors? At present, it seems, not much. Till now, it appears to be long winded saga of recommendations, amendments, standing committees and now an unfortunate disapproval of plans is a succinct status of a beleaguered process that began even before Independence!

The Medical Council of India (MCI) was established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933, as an elected body for maintaining the medical register and providing ethical oversight, with no specific role in medical education.

Over the decades, its performance has been short of optimal. In the face of rampant corruption observed especially over the last few years, the role of MCI was taken up by the Parliament.

In March 2016, the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the need to reform The Medical Council of India came as a glimmer of hope.

The committee observed that the Medical Council of India, when tested on the core reason of its existence, has been a under performer.

It said that the quality of medical education is at its lowest ebb; medical graduates lack competence in performing basic health care tasks like conducting normal deliveries; instances of unethical practice continue to grow due to which respect for the profession has dwindled, and yet, the MCI has not been able to introduce any serious reforms in medical education to address these gaps.

It went on to add that it is of the view that there is too much power concentrated in a single body (i.e. the MCI), and it has failed to create a transparent system of licensing of medical colleges.

The committee, therefore, favoured a bifurcation of the functions of MCI and recommended that different structures be created for discharging different functions.

According to a KPMG report on the health manpower crunch, the situation is such that India needs to commission 550 medical colleges – 100 seats per college right away to meet the global average by 2030. A step such as this alone can help India cope with its burgeoning population, mounting disease burden and escalating economic burden on account of ill health of its populace.

Subsequent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee’s report, in March 2016, the Supreme Court constituted a three-member committee headed by former Chief Justice of India R M Lodha to oversee the Medical Council of India.

The MCI protested against the establishment of the Lodha Committee and said that lobbies with ulterior motives and interests had done everything possible in their attempts to malign its reputation.

Alongside, a deep seated malaise of MCI raised its ugly head once again, one of unabated disapprovals of applications for medical colleges, addition of seats, renewals of permissions and recognitions.

In an unprecedented recent development, the MCI disapproved almost 94 percent applications that came in from the private sector to establish new medical college, i.e. 74 applications were disapproved as against the 79 applications that MCI had received in 2016-17. This translates into a loss of almost 8000 doctors for India.

Furthermore, almost 87 percent of the requests for new seats were disapproved. Strangely, even the applications that came in from the government were not spared, their applications for new colleges and new seats too were disapproved in a large percentage. The reasons for these disapprovals are unknown and possibly are trivial.

Thankfully, Justice Lodha gave amnesty to over 175 private medical colleges who were denied approval this year and also chance to re-submit their representations to the health.

This was an encouraging move, but it has been over 100 days since the Lodha Committee was commissioned and we are yet to hear of plans for the future of medical education in India.

A proposal to replace the MCI with a National Commission for Human Resources in Healthcare (NCHRH) has been on the horizon since 2009, but a bill on these lines was rejected by the parliamentary standing committee in 2012. Will the nation revisit the decision?

India now only looks towards the Lodha Committee to bring forth ‘achhe din’ for medical education and a healthier India.

Source: ANI
11 comment(s) on Medical education in India looking for achhe din

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  1. user
    Dr Ramesh VARDHAN April 13, 2017, 6:14 pm

    The countries you have mentioned are U S A , Russia and Brazil. The primary and secondary education was made compulsory almost 50 years ago. There language of instructions are English, Russian and Portuguese from the very start of their schooling. Unfortunately even today 50 % of our children have hardly seen any school in true sense. Next our medium of instructions are different ie more than 20 different regional languages because of this more than half students who join medical colleges are with out required commond over English language. Unfortunately there are no special English language classes or any kind English language eligibility exams. ( I am sorry to say good number of Doctors/ Faculty members are very poor at English ( language). Half of time students give blank look or remain mute when it comes to discussion. Coming to patients its the same problem with communication. with increase in number of private medical colleges and 15 % all India quota , that means students from various states with different languages, have to learn other regional language to communicate with the patients . unfortunately this barrier remains for ever. Such type of difficulties almost nil in other parts of the world. Most often we failed to talk about other systems medical colleges available in India , there are about 607, Ayush colleges , much more than the Medical colleges ( MBBS). Added to the agony there are N number self declared Doctors ( Quacks),who out number Doctors from all the available systems of Medicine. These quacks practice medicine ruthlessly by injecting deadly dangerous drugs to the poor and innocent patients, by making them useless, their vital organs are made useless, their muscle being atrophied, bones being Fragile, mind become morosed , what I call moving cadaver. And to treat such patients is not an easy thing, it needs lots of time , plenty of money , tons of patience and with poor results. Unfortunately the number of such patients are in excesses with lack of support from their own family members. Our country is a Paradise for Quacks , and the buggered up cases can\’t be managed even by the best . unless and until the the rules are regulated in real /true sense to prevent rather punish the Quacks , any number of increase in medical seats is going to be a waste. It is the Quality which matters the most , not the Quantity ,if it is true we would have been at least 4 times better than U S A in every aspect of life . But we all know where we are ? . still struggling to or fail to control Tuberculosis ,bleeding to death due to dengue, we have highest number of T B cases in the world and so also under nourished children which are root cause of major health issues. The need of hour is the basic things like , Nutrition, Hygiene and sanitation, and compulsory primary and secondary education, Housing and care from the parents by having small family and better income and quality time. . We are sitting on a Bomb called Population Bomb , according to me more dangerous than the Nuclear Bomb. Let me make it clear there is going to be resources crisis with over polluted atmosphere, forced to eat chemical food, drink contaminated water, inhale toxic Air. No medical man can manage these problems for sure. Promote Family planning , prevent problems And improve the Quality of life by making better policies by consulting the professional and not the Babus. Babus were good for the British Raj and bad for Free India / Bharth. I remember Churchill lost elections , despite winning the war. When people of England were asked why they failed him, The answer was , He was good for the War but not for the Peace. Directly from the Heart / mind to the Mobile screen. These are my views , could be wrong.

  2. user
    Shame on you Ketan Desai cronies. December 31, 2016, 3:47 pm

    Shame on Ketan Desai cronies here trying to defame respected Justice Lodha.We the Medical fraternity of India would never ever accept a corrupt MCI with Ketan Desai of his cronies. We want MCI liquidated as soon as possible. And until it\’s existence Justice Lodha should continue heading the community, no matter what Ketan Desai cronies say. Shame shame Ketan Desai and your cronies here writing comments to delegitimise a honest senior ex CJI like honourable Justice Lodha.

  3. why the medical college charge a very high fees and capitation for MD/MS degree which is not approved in US and Europe, To get more PG doctors are the criteria of the nation and the authorities should look into it as they give scholarship and subsidy for IMS and IITs ect and the studens pass out and serve in other countries. How ever doctor are staying in india to serve –

  4. user
    Balbhadra Dhagat November 9, 2016, 6:32 pm

    Actions of the august members of the SC Panel (comprising of ex-CJI Lodha, ex-CAG Vinod Rai & ex-MCI-BOG Chairman Dr SK Sarin) is not reflective of vision. While the SC Panel might actually believe that they have done their best for the medical education, it is certainly far from the truth. It is a misguided attempt reflective of crass one-upmanship intended to reduce the importance of MCI & to ensure it remains under extraneous control. Does the SC Panel have comprehension of what is required to ensure a first rate medical education? This way, they can only destroy the very foundations of already tottering medical education.

  5. user
    Balbhadra Dhagat November 9, 2016, 6:30 pm

    When Prof Karabi Baral, Prof Nina Das & Prof MK Ramesh reached Ananata Medical College, Udaipur on 24 February 2016, Dr Jitendra Jain, Dean refused inspection of the Medical College on the ground that he was unwell. With the courtesy of ex-CJI RM Lodha, ex-CAG Vinod Rai & Padma Bhushan Dr SK Sarin,  the Medical College can now admit first batch of students to the MBBS Programme. There can be nothing more ironical than this in Indian medical education scenario.

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