Rural Indian healthcare needs a lot of improvements and severely suffers from lack of qualified healthcare professionals. On 4th September, Honorable Delhi High Court has directed Central Government and Medical Council of India (MCI) to permit B.Sc. (community Health) graduates to practice healthcare in rural India.
With all due respect to he Delhi High Court, I would like to discuss a few points regarding this decision. Being a law abiding responsible citizen of India, I am not trying to show any kind of disrespect whatsoever to the Honorable Delhi High Court or any legal institutions.
Here is the excerpt from the news piece –
“In the opinion of this court, once the Central government has undertaken to introduce the B.Sc. (Community Health) course, it must take the lead and give the course a firm legal footing and introduce it in institutions and universities run by the Central government and also provide help to the state governments to introduce the same. Also, once the syllabi, curriculum and course have been finalised and the graduate has been identified to treat a range of common diseases that are easily treatable at the primary level, there is no reason why he/she should not be allowed to practice independently,” the HC observed.
B.SC. Community health course:
As per the news articles published here, here and here, till 2013, curriculum related to Community Health course was not decided.
Delhi High Court directive of this month indicates that the proposed 3.5 years course design has not been finalized as yet.
In 2014, Doctors, Pharmacists and even nursing students expressed their concern against such a course. (News). Nursing students fear that their dwindling job prospects will further deteriorate with this course.
B.Sc. Nursing student studies for 4 years to earn his degree to become a nurse.
B. Pharma student studies for 4 years to earn his degree to become a pharmacist.
But this community course will produce a rural healthcare expert (=doctor) who can prescribe medicines and do treatments in rural India by studying for 3.5 years.
Most logical solution:
There is no point in forcing MBBS doctors to practice in rural India. But why not take doctors from AYUSH segment – Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy doctors, train them for six months and issue licenses to them to practice in rural India?
In Ayurveda syllabus, we study anatomy, physiology, pathology and herb – pharmacology.
We dissect human bodies to learn anatomy and physiology.
Learning about allopathic pharmacology is also included in B.A.M.S Syllabus.
We are verse with minor surgical procedures.
We invest 5.5 years to become doctors. Practicing of Allopathy by Ayurvedic doctors is already legal in a few states like Maharashtra. Hence, why not make a bridge course of 6 months to orient aspirant AYUSH doctors with modern pharmacology and a list of Allopathic medicines and give them rights to practice in Rural India?
I suppose this makes much more sense than re-inventing the wheel with a 3.5 year BSC course to produce quick fix doctors.
I apologize wholeheartedly and unconditionally for any disrespect to the honorable court that might have been caused with this article.