Bengaluru: Most doctors treating patients in casualty wards of hospitals are not experts in emergency care, trained as they are in general medicine. But things are likely to change soon.
According to a recent diktat of the Medical Council of India (MCI), all medical colleges have to be equipped with fully functional emergency departments by March 31, 2022, failing which their courses will not get the required sanction.
With MCI stipulating all medical colleges seeking ‘letter of permission’ for MBBS batch of 2022-23 get fully functional emergency departments, undergraduate and postgraduate students are likely to get adequate training in handling emergency, trauma and accident cases.
According to norms, a fully functional emergency department of a medical college needs to have a professor, an associate professor and two assistant professors, all specialised in emergency medicine. Dr S Sachidananda, vice-chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), told TOI not more than 5-6 medical colleges of 55 in the state have emergency departments.
The university started an MD course in emergency medicine four years ago and there are eight seats available under it every year.
“Though all medical colleges have casualty wards, they are not organised emergency departments. Now, the MCI has mandated all medical colleges be equipped with well-established emergency departments. The council may allow relaxation of a couple of years for the existing medical colleges. Once the emergency medicine department comes into effect, it will have expert doctors specialised in emergency medicine,” said Dr Sacchidananda.
‘Field has gained traction’
Emergency medicine has gained importance in recent years in the wake of accidents, natural disasters, epidemics and related events. “Currently, in most of the hospitals associated with medical colleges, the casualty ward is run by a doctor qualified in general medicine. Over seven-eight years ago, there was no concept of emergency medicine as a specialised course, at least in India. Now there is a need to give prominence to MD course in intensive care, MD in family medicine, MD in geriatric care, along with MD in emergency care,” said a senior professor associated with RGUHS.
Specialists raise concerns
A set of emergency specialists in the country has time and again been raising objections to ‘fake’ emergency medicine experts.
“There are some doctors who have obtained a fellowship in emergency medicine and claim to be specialists in the field. These courses are not recognised by MCI and hence they are not post-graduates in emergency medicine. It’s high time the country focuses on starting a PG course in emergency medicine across medical colleges,” said a senior doctor.-Times Of India