A high-level committee, set up by the Centre, has recommended a Postgraduate Medical Education Board for higher education in medicine.
The committee of academicians and scientists was set up after the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, co-chaired by the finance and health ministers, suggested that standards of higher medical education needed to be raised and monitored.
Currently, the Medical Council of India (MCI) and National Board of Examination (NBE) award postgraduate degrees in medicine and surgery. But both bodies are often in conflict since both follow different rules for PG admission. The MCI holds its PG courses in medical colleges while the NBE’s PG degree courses are in recognised hospitals.
The committee, headed by Dr Ranjit Roy Chaudhury, former chairman of the National Sub Commission in Macroeconomics and Health, has recommended that only one PG degree be awarded by a Centre-financed autonomous body, set up by an Act of Parliament. “Today, the standard of doctors acquiring post-graduate degrees varies from college to college, state to state and university to university,” Dr Chaudhury told HT.
There are two types of PG medical degrees — MD and MS — awarded by medical colleges and diplomas awarded by the National Board of Examination.
“The confusion results in our PG degrees not getting the credibility they deserve, putting our doctors at a disadvantage as they compete with doctors from countries with a single degree,” said Dr Chaudhury, who is also the National Professor of Parmacology National Academy of Medical Sciences.
The new Board — the Postgraduate (PG) Medical Education Board — would regulate all PG medical examinations across the country. “At a time when India is becoming the centre of international healthcare, a single independent body overseeing all PG medical education becomes imperative.
It should hold the same examination at recognised centres and monitor training of future doctors on a semester basis,” said Roy Chaudhury. The degree awarded should be called Diplomate (Approved) of the Postgraduate Medical Board of India, he added. He said it was imperative the Board was run by academicians, not politicians.