In a recent response to the shortage of specialists in rural healthcare centres across the county, the central government and the Medical Council of India (MCI) have agreed to launch post-graduate (PG) diploma courses that applicants can pursue after completing their MBBS.
In a recent response to the shortage of specialists in rural healthcare centres across the county, the central government and the Medical Council of India (MCI) have agreed to launch post-graduate (PG) diploma courses that applicants can pursue after completing their MBBS. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in a gazette notification, introduced eight medical specialities under the National Board of Examinations, The Indian Express reported. The report highlighted that the move is welcomed by many and has been called a needed radical reform.
It is to note that according to the government regulations, the recently introduced structured training programmes can be run by any private or public hospital that is well-equipped and has over 100 beds along with senior medical specialists. The courses in which the two-year diploma is being given include Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Anaesthesiology, Paediatrics, Tuberculosis and Chest Disease, Family Medicine, Ophthalmology, Radio Diagnosis, and ENT.
Why is there a need for diploma courses?
The report citing a noted cardiac surgeon Dr. Devi Shetty, said that every year, there are approximately 1.7 lakh applicants that apply for PG seats after their MBBS. However, there are only 50,000 post-graduate seats that come under the Medical Council of India and the National Board of Examinations. This implies that around 1.2 lakh people do not get a chance to pursue postgraduate courses that lead to them being away from clinical work and continuing studies or coaching classes. Shetty pointed out that some of them even give up being doctors. This further leads to a lack of enough medical staff.
By creating some thousands of seats additional to 50,000 postgraduate seats via two-year diploma courses, the gap in careers of doctors along with a shortage of doctors in these specialities can be easily bridged, the report asserted. According to Dr. Giridhar Gyani, director-general of the Association of Health Care Providers of India, said that tier 2 and tier 3 towns suffer an 80 per cent shortage in medical specialists. With the introduction of additional PG seats in the above-mentioned specialities, it can compensate for the shortage of medical specialists in the next two to four years.