March 06, 2011

If govt gives nod, rural students can become doctor after class 10

If the union health ministry accepts the recommendations made by a national-level committee of medical experts, students from rural areas can study medicine after class X — and become healthcare professionals in three years flat.

The recommendations have been made by the ‘Curricular Reform Committee for Undergraduate Medical Education’ to the health ministry.

According to a senior doctor who has been asked to give his opinions on the recommendations, there are chances that the central government will introduce a separate medical course for rural students.

The course will produce doctors exclusively for rural areas because of dearth of doctors as city-based doctors don’t want to work in those areas.

“The government is seriously thinking to introduce a three-year medical course for rural students,” said the doctor. According to him, the name of the course will be ‘Bachelor of Rural Health Care’ (BRHC), and it can be done after class X instead of class XII.

“Though the proposal is still under consideration, it is the only practical solution to improve the healthcare scenario in rural areas,” he said.

The proposed roadmap has been submitted to the health ministry by a group of medical experts from all over India. According to the plan, the students have to either sign a 10-year bond or make a lifetime commitment to work in rural areas.

The students have to produce a bona fide certificate stating their ‘rural’ status to get admission.

According to the doctor, this move will ultimately help the patients of rural areas. “City-based doctors cannot understand the local dialect of rural patients, so some times the symptoms are not conveyed properly to the doctors,” said the doctor.

As far as starting this course in remote areas is concerned, the committee has proposed to open new medical colleges in under-served areas till 2015.

The committee has also proposed to start ‘Community Medical Colleges’ as well as extending the facilities of the existing district hospitals. “To start such course, these infrastructural changes will be important,” he said.

However, other doctors involved in medical education have protested the move to introduce BRHC. “We have been protesting this new course, because there cannot be a parallel course with MBBS. This will only deteriorate the medical education,” opined a senior doctor.

Link: Original Article

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