To meet the acute shortage of medical faculty, the Union Health Ministry has asked the States to rope in the retired medical teaching faculty of the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune.
It has shot off a list of names and phone numbers of around 200 retired Professor and Associate Professors to the Board of Governors of the Medical Council of India (MCI), a top medical education regulator to forward it to the medical colleges in the States.
A senior Health Ministry official said that the move is in line with the think tank NITI Aayog’s plan which had cleared such a proposal in a meeting a couple of months ago. Niti Aayog Member Dr VK Paul had chaired meeting with Directorate General Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS), MCI & National Board of Examination (NBE) officials to discuss harnessing the potential of AFMS Hospitals for capacity building of Medical Specialists Cadre.
When contacted, a retired AFMS doctor on the condition of anonymity said that he was aware of the proposal and would be more than happy to impart education to the medical students. “However, nobody has contacted me so far. Also, I would have to see the place of the posting and what kind of remuneration the Government has in its mind.”
Roping in the retired AFMS faculty is just one of the various steps that the Government is taking to fill the posts, for instance increasing undergraduate seats, enhancement of maximum intake capacity at MBBS level from 150 to 250 and relaxation in the norms of setting up of medical college in terms of requirement for land, faculty, staff, bed/bed strength and other infrastructure.
The Government has also increased postgraduate seats. The ratio of teachers to students has been revised from 1:1 to 1:2 for all MD/MS disciplines and from 1:1 to 1:3 in subjects of Anesthesiology, Forensic Medicine, Radiotherapy, Medical Oncology, Surgical Oncology and Psychiatry in all medical colleges across the country.
“For some subjects like Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Microbiology we do not get enough people. Non-medical students can teach, although preference is given to those from medical field,” said the official. India has 472 medical colleges and close to a million registered doctors.
However, there is a shortage of doctors as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norm of 1 doctor per 1,000 population. – The Pioneer