The government is planning to start a postgraduate course in Family Medicine at six AIIMS to fill the gap created by paucity of specialist doctors and also to bring back the concept of family physicians, official sources said on Wednesday. To begin with, the PG course in Family Medicine will be started at AIIMS Raipur, Rishikesh, Jodhpur, Patna, Bhubaneswar and Bhopal campuses, they told PTI.
Looking at the response, the course would be started in more hospitals across the country in due course of time. The idea got an impetus and was deeply deliberated upon at the two-day Chintan Shivir “Heal by India” organised by the Union Health Ministry in February.
“In the past, family physicians were the go-to person in case of any ailment. Since such doctors were well versed with a family’s medical history, they were quite effective in providing general healthcare to the people and eliminating in most cases, the need to visit specialist doctors like cardiologists, endocrinologists, paediatrics and gastroenterologists etc,” an official source explained.
With time such a concept has gone out of vogue, and with this course one will have the option of doing MD in Family Medicine after completing MBBS, the official source said. A meeting to start such a course at six functional AIIMS was recently held between the officials of the Union Health Ministry and NITI Aayog. The post graduate course in Family Medicine would include studying general medicine, basic surgery, gynaecology, paediatrics etc.
“This would reduce the burden on specialist doctors as people seek treatment for ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, minor gastric problems, paediatric issues etc.The idea is to fill in the gap created by the paucity of specialist doctors by providing a holistic treatment to an entire family taking into account hereditary problems and medical history,” the source said.
A meeting to start such a course was recently held between the officials of Health Ministry and NITI Aayog.
Over 10,000 posts of surgeons, gynaecologists, physicians and paediatricians are still lying vacant in Community Health Centres and Primary Health Centres across the country, a source said.