The government is considering setting up a unified authority for regulating post-graduate medical courses in the country, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said on Friday.
“In India, we have two authorities to regulate post-graduate medical education; the Medical Council of India and the National Board of Examination,” the minister told Rajya Sabha in response to supplementaries during Question Hour.
The minister acknowledged that MCI-regulated post-graduate education has been recognised by many countries except in the neighbourhood. “But as far as National Board of Examination is concerned, there has been wider acceptance internationally because of the standards of education and its quality,” Ramadoss said.
The minister, however, emphasised the government would take a final decision on the recommendation for a unified authority only after consultations with the stakeholders concerned. He also declared the government was going in for a drastic change in the curriculum at both levels. “The curriculum we are following today is a little outdated. Hence, we are going in for a new curriculum change according to modern concepts, modern technology development,” he said.
The minister, who’d been pushing for a mandatory stint for young doctors in rural areas, also said the government was going to allow government hospitals at district headquarters to join hands with private players to start medical colleges. This is to bridge the divide between six states where two-thirds of India’s medical institutions are located and the rest of the country.
Of the 270 medical colleges in India, six states — Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra — account for 180 of them. The remaining 23 states share the rest.
“There is a huge lacuna in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, etc. Bihar has only eight medical colleges for a population of 110 million. Uttar Pradesh has 16 and Madhya Pradesh has eight. In the Northeast also, there has been a huge lacuna,” he explained.