Aimed at meeting the shortage of doctors in rural areas, the proposed course — bachelor of rural health care course (BRHCC / Rural MBBS / BRHS / BRHC / BRMS ) — seems to have run into trouble with the Medical Council of India (MCI) exploring other options to tackle the problem of shortage of doctors in rural areas.
Aimed at meeting the shortage of doctors in rural areas, the proposed course — bachelor of rural health care course (BRHCC) — seems to have run into trouble with the Medical Council of India (MCI) exploring other options to tackle the problem of shortage of doctors in rural areas.
The health ministry officials disclosed that though the new MCI board was told to examine the course and give its clearance to the proposed course when they had joined, but “they never got back”. The MCI, on the other hand, has been discussing alternative models like compulsory rural posting, increasing MBBS seats etc. In a meeting scheduled to be held on Monday, the MCI is likely to take a final call on the proposed BRHCC — the course so far has received stiff opposition from the Indian Medical Association (IMA).
In the last MCI board meeting, Dr Purushottam Lal, one of the board members, also gave a presentation proposing a “three-point formula” to tackle the problem. “I have suggested MD in general medicine by changing the nomenclature of MD in family medicine as there will not be much takers in MD in family medicine. This should be a logbook based three years training with adequate incentives and a five year bond making it compulsory to serve in rural areas. Later these doctors can also do superspeciality. Those doctors can be posted as head of the Primary health centres (PHC)”.
“Secondly, it will involve the special quota for the MBBS course candidates who will be serving in the rural areas for five years. However, such doctors have to under go logbook based one year diploma in general medicine after finishing the internship. Making compulsory one-year internship in the rural areas may not help the rural public due to inexperience of such doctors. These doctors can be posted at sub centres. The third point is the bachelor of rural health services course: A three course after 10+2, including internship where the candidates can be trained to provide the medical assistance in the interior of the villages under the supervision of the doctors who have done diploma in general medicine. All the three services could work as spoke and wheel arrangement. It is a concept but would need wider deliberations,” he said.
The MCI members are also exploring options opted by other countries for the same problem.