The introduction of a three-and-a-half-year BSc course in community medicine approved by the Medical Council of India (MCI) has upset medical officers in the state.
The Karnataka State Government Medical Officers Association (KSMOGA) on Tuesday vehemently opposed the approval of the course, terming it a licence for quacks.
Dr H N Ravindra, Chairman of the Association, said that they were appalled that the MCI had approved the introduction of the course from the next academic year as a solution to the paucity of doctors in rural areas.
“The introduction of BSc doctors for rural population and MBBS doctors for urban population is purely discriminatory. The implementation of compulsory rural internship for doctors is the only way out to handle the dearth of doctors in the rural areas,” Dr Ravindra pointed out.
He explained, “The central government had earlier announced that graduate courses like Bachelor of Rural Medicine and Surgery (BRMS) and Bachelor of Rural Health and Care (BRHC) would be introduced which was opposed by doctors and subsequently disapproved by the MCI. However, BSc Community Medicine has been approved by the MCI based on the attempts of the central government which is keen on implementing this course.”
There are 4,500 doctors who graduate every year, whose service in rural areas by compulsory internship can solve the problems of the doctors paucity in the State, he said.
Urging the government to adopt Tamil Nadu and Kerala Model for Primary Health Centres (PHC), Dr Shaila Kumar, Secretary, the Association said, “In Tamil Nadu the government has appointed three doctors per PHC on shift basis.
This way there will be one doctor available at the PHC all the time. We have given this report to the state and the central government but we have not received any response from them.”
The association has decided to write to the MCI, and will also exhort the state government to oppose the introduction of the BSc Community Medicine.