March 13, 2010

Delhi HC asks govt for stand on 3-year course for non-MBBS

The Delhi high court today asked the Centre to make its stand clear on a plea that a short-term course on primary health was required to allow non-MBBS persons to practise medicine in rural areas.

A Division Bench of acting chief justice Madan B Lokur and justice Mukta Gupta directed the Centre to file a detailed affidavit specifying whether government has accepted the recommendations given by the Central Council for Health and the Task Force which recommended a three-year course for the practitioners.

The Medical Council of India(MCI) told the court that it has not accepted all the recommendations of the Task Force and will file anaffidavit in this regard.

The Bench was hearing a PIL, filed by one Meenakshi Gautam through counsel Prashant Bhushan, seeking to decriminalise the practise of medicine by non-MBBS persons.

Bhushan sought a direction to the government to introduce a short-term course for training healthcare workers so that shortage of doctors in rural areas could be removed.

The petitioner pleaded the Indian Medical Council Act, which provides for one-year imprisonment for practising medicine by non-MBBS persons, should be amended.

According to the Act, only a MBBS qualified person can practice medicine and prescribe a scheduled drug. The Act has obstructed the development of mid-level health practitioners who can deliver family health care, the petitioner added.

The petitioner's counsel argued that the government should be directed to provide a three-year course to health workers while treating people in rural areas.

Link: Original Article

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