Bolstering Rural Healthcare: Government May Impose A Pre-Condition To PG Medical Students

In a bid to strengthen rural healthcare delivery system and to ramp up availability of doctors in remote areas, the Government is toying with various ideas.

A Board of Governors (BoG), vested with the powers of the Medical Council of India (MCI) has recently put out a proposal to Union Health Ministry, where all post-graduate medical students will have to serve in district hospitals for at least three months in order to be eligible to appear in the final exam.

Currently, students pursuing undergraduate medical courses are attached to primary health centres or urban health centres for three months as part of a compulsory rotating internship.

The BoG has written to the Health Ministry to develop guidelines for implementation of the proposal for postgraduate students in partnership with it and the state governments. It has also sought that this provision comes into force from the next academic session.

“The move is aimed at providing practical experience to future specialists in real-life setting of the country’s public health system. Also, this will help address shortage of specialist doctors in district hospitals of rural and remote areas, and help strengthen services at such hospitals,” a senior government official said.

“Satisfactory completion of this rotation shall be an essential condition before the candidate is allowed to appear in the final examination of the respective postgraduate course. The Ministry of Health is requested to develop guidelines for the scheme in partnership with the state government and BoG in three months,” it read.

For the purpose of the proposed programme, a district hospital will be defined broadly as a functional public sector or publicly-funded hospital of about 200 beds or more, with facilities for specified specialities, designated by the Centre or state governments. – E-Health

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