BSc Graduates To Work As Doctors?

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.

doctorHere 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.

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  1. k l murthy says:

    Dr JVH, good idea. But even AYUSH doctors may also refuse going to rural places as they cannot be assured of any fixed income.

    I seriously doubt, even those BSc grads will settle in Rural areas as now they are ” Permitted” to treat.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      In States like Karnataka, many Ayurvedic doctors are harassed by Allopathic councils and cases are filed against them for practicing allopathy in Rural areas.
      If a law comes into force allowing AYUSH doctors to practice certain sections of allopathy, then at least these rural Ayurvedic doctors will get a protection. Plus, many rural people will get good healthcare.
      Currently the BSC course is still in the draft stage. Already this move is attracting lot of protests. Moreover, there is no guarantee that these BSC grads will go to rural areas. Then why not make the lives of rural Ayurvedic doctors easy?

  2. Dear Sir
    Write up is very nice and logically perfect.
    hybrid doctors will not be useful for society due to their less knowledge due to less course duration. Please forward your this article to MCI.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      There is no point in reaching out to MCI. The option of AYUSH doctors was / is always there at MCI’s disposal. They are very well aware of it.
      When the argument was going on, in the High court, they could have easily suggested this alternative.

  3. krishnan nair says:

    This is a very useful and innovative proposal of the learned judiciary and it should be followed.

  4. seema VermaRao says:

    Govt can give order to all the MBBS, BAMS and MHMS gratuates that they should go to the rural areas at least for 3 yrs then only come to urban areas for jobs.

  5. seema VermaRao says:

    Number of govt medical college should increase and then we can get good Doctors who can go to rural areas for more than 3 yrs also.

  6. Anita Yadav says:

    Government should open Govt medical colleges in rural areas so that students from rural areas will take admission in those rural medical colleges, so that possibility/ availability of more doctors in rural areas can be fulfilled but medical education fee in rural colleges should be much less than that is in present time. Affordable fee structure should be regularized. Present cost of medical education is also a culprit that is forcing doctors to stay away from rural area n stay in urban cities to earn more to fulfill their education cost first of all, that is not possible in rurals. Other pathies practitioners should be regularized by these rural medical colleges by giving 6 to 12 months clinical training in their hospital n pharmacy depending upon practitioners basic course duration. If over the counter medicines with some other particular medicines are allowed to other pathy practitioners, that will do need full to rural medical need.

  7. Manoj Kumar Pati says:

    Dear Dr. Hebbar,

    I agree with you in all points made here in this discussion. This is very sad move by government and not allowing AYUSH guys serve rural people in the manner that community demands is not at all fair. I am a homeopath myself and I can feel the pain and anguish all AYUSH doctors are going through. I mean, what is the point studying almost everything that a MBBS study and spent some 5-6 years of quality time and end of the day not being allowed to practice to fill up the large void in medical manpower required for rural health care. If Bsc and nursing students(I got to know about nurses just recently-the precise reason why I am responding now to this a year old discussion thread) can be allowed to practice what is that preventing government machinery to allow AYUSH guys with proper training. All seems like politically motivated and power game!

  8. It good course for nurses to improve their skills and it helps to provide optimum health care to the community people.

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