Health Policy

Health ministry to finalise rural medical course soon

eHEALTH Bureau

The health ministry will soon finalise the syllabus for the proposed short-term medical course for training doctors especially for rural areas, according to a report.

The course is now in its advanced stage of finalisation, and almost all state governments have given their nod to the syllabus, confirmed the ministry.

The three-year bachelor of rural medicine and surgery course has been proposed by the health ministry to cope with shortage of doctors in rural areas. Officials said the course will be conducted at district level medical schools in notified rural areas. The schools will be set up by the central government and will take 20 to 25 students each.

These students will be given basic medical training for three years and will get a license to work in rural areas with a population of less than 5,000. There will not be any specialisation for these doctors.

The doctors trained under this course may be allowed only to work in sub-centres of primary health centres following objections from the Indian Medical Association (IMA) as the course has been widely criticised by the IMA.

The health ministry official clarified that neither the course will affect the quality of health care in the country nor will it dilute the medical profession in any manner. The course will enable the doctors to provide basic health care in the areas where people are bound to depend only midwives or auxiliary nurses.

There are nearly 25,000 primary health centres in the country with four or five sub-centres under them and the Planning Commission has clearly mentioned that India faces a shortage of about six lakh doctors.

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