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‘Ethical Doctors’ from Pune demand steps for affordable medical education

Delegation of doctors submitted a representation to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health

pune Updated: Feb 25, 2018 15:12 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
Jui Dharwadkar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,ethical doctors,affordable medical education
The alliance has expressed the fear that the National Medical Commission bill would promote privatisation of medical education and make it more expensive in addition to depriving deserving students from getting into medical colleges.(HT REPRESENTATIONAL PHOTO)

The Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare (ADEH) has demanded affordable medical education in the country and a separate board for medical ethics.

The alliance which has been crusading against the exploitation of patients by the medical industry comprising doctors, hospitals and pharma companies, recently submitted its representation to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health.

A delegation of comprising doctors Abhay Shukla, Arun Mitra, Arun Gadre and Monica Thomas submitted a representation to the standing committee on health which called to seek public opinion on the National Medical Commission (NMC) bill.

The alliance has expressed the fear that the bill would promote privatisation of medical education and make it more expensive in addition to depriving deserving students from getting into medical colleges. The clause on allowing profit-driven organisations to open medical colleges is a clear pointer to this, the alliance said.

Dr Gadre pointed out that presently the fees for Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) course in city-based private colleges ranged from Rs14 lakh to Rs 35 lakh. The fees for Bachelor of Dental Surgery ranged from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

“The fees in private medical colleges are very high and need to be standardised for all colleges. Our demand is that 50 percent of seats in private medical colleges should have fees similar to that of government medical colleges while the remaining 50 percent of seats in private medical colleges can be slightly higher, which also must be fixed to make medical education affordable,” Dr Gadre stressed.

“The clause in the bill that the government will regulate only up to 40 percent of seats will lead to exorbitant fees charged by the private managements. The fees for all seats should be regulated.

“40 percent seats should have the same fees as in government hospitals and other seats can have marginal differences so that the deserving students are not deprived,” he said.

Author of the highly acclaimed book ‘Dissenting Diagnostics’ on the widespread prevalence of unethical medical practices in the country, Dr Gadre suggested that NMC should have at least 30 percent elected members and there shall be some representation to the health organisations struggling for ethics in health care.

He and other alliance members stressed on the need for a separate board of ethics.

“There should be a separate board of ethics which should prepare clear guidelines for state medical councils. The ethics board shall oversee the functioning of state medical councils and shall have competent redressal forum for needy patients.

“The ethics boards shall have 50 percent members other than doctors like lawyers, civil society members as in many other countries like the UK. Ethics should be a part of the medical curriculum which should correlate public health care needs in the minds of the younger generation,” the alliance suggested.

ADEH also pointed out that the thrust on privatisation of medical education and healthcare would further aggravate the healthcare crisis in the country.

FEE STRUCTURE OF SCIENCE GROUP:

* Fees for Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) in private colleges: Rs 14 lakh to Rs 35 lakh.

* Fees for Bachelor of Dental Surgery in Pune: Rs 4 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

Demand from Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare (ADEH)

•Fees in private medical colleges must be standardized for all colleges.

•50 % seats in private medical colleges should have fees similar to government medical colleges

•Fees for remaining 50% seats can be slightly higher but regulated to make medical education affordable

First Published: Feb 25, 2018 14:45 IST