The huge dearth of paramedical technicians, including radiologists, optometrists and endoscopy, in hospitals has forced the state government to introduce a three-year degree course in paramedical technology.
Maharashtra will be the second state in the country after Chandigarh to introduce this course through the medical education department of the state government.
“We always faced a problem getting technicians for our hospitals. So, we thought we should train people in the field. The requirement for getting into this course is clearing the Class 12 exam,” said Minister for Medical Education Dr Vijaykumar Gavit.
The degree to be given after the completion of the course will be through the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), he added. So far, none of the 39 medical colleges, including private unaided institutions, under the MUHS have a specialised degree course in paramedical technology.
The course, that will be introduced this academic year, will be made available in all 14 government hospitals and civic hospitals —Sion, Nair, KEM — and also at the Rajiv Gandhi Hospital in Thane, VIMANS at Nashik and AFMC at Pune.
Each batch will have 30 students and there will be 145 seats in state-run colleges in Mumbai, 130 in Pune and 145 in other super-speciality hospitals.
“There are 40-50 posts relating to such technicians vacant in every college. Considering the number of seats we are offering we can only hope that colleges get more technicians who are well trained,” Gavit said.
Earlier students would opt for a post-SSC (Class 12) vocational course in general laboratory technician skills that would not be up to the mark as required by doctors.
The disciplines identified for the courses include technicians for laboratory, radiographic and radiotherapy, cardiology, neurology, blood transfusion, optometry and plaster, anaesthesia, perfusionist, operation theatre, medical transcription, histopathology, cyto, transfusion medicine, endoscopy, forensic science and clinical psychologist.