Indian Medical Association tries to stall rural health course

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 01 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6199
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. 1New Delhi

India’s largest association of doctors has renewed its campaign to scuttle a proposal by the Indian government to introduce an alternative programme of medical education to create a cadre of healthcare providers exclusively for the country’s villages.

The Indian Medical Association has called on India’s health ministry and other arms of the government to abandon the proposal, once again iterating its longstanding argument that the alternative programme would deliver substandard levels of healthcare to the rural population.

The Medical Council of India, after consultations with the health ministry, had earlier this year announced features of the proposed four year course, leading to a bachelor of rural healthcare degree, that would accept only rural students and train them in clinical examination, medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, orthopaedics, paediatrics, general surgery, and public health (BMJ 2010;340:c817, doi:10.1136/bmj.c817). Graduates of the course would be allowed to practise only in rural areas.

The Indian Medical Association, which has a membership of 80 000 doctors, had appeared to support the proposal in February this year after it was made …

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