New Delhi: This year, the budget indeed brought many significant announcements in the field of Medical Education. The Finance minister was seen specifically announcing 5000 additional post graduate seats, bringing a major relief, not just to the medical profession but also to general population in the light of severe shortage of specialist medical professionals.
Medical Dialogues team, interviewed Dr Bipin Batra, Executive Director, National Board of Examinations, the autonomous body under the Ministry of Health, Government of India, and established in 1975 at New Delhi with a mandate of standardizing postgraduate medical education and examination in India and the body that offers Diplomate of National Board (DNB) courses in various fields of medical specialities. Here are some of his reactions to the budget.
Q) Sir, the FM while presenting the budget has announced 5000 PG seats are to be added per year. How do you think this will benefit the country.
The creation of PG seats requires allocation of resources, mobilization of new as well as existing infrastructure and firm commitment. Seat enhancement in the financial year 2017-18 shall lead to enhancement of PG seats by 15% in the country, which shall be the single largest chunk of growth. This is much needed keeping in view the desirable expansion of secondary and tertiary health care services in the country. Besides it shall bring the much needed relief to medical graduates aspiring to pursue post graduation.
Q) The modality for the said seats increase as implied by the Minister is DNB seats rather than MD. Sir, your comments
The model of education in the DNB courses is that of affordable education, qualitative approach and focus on high quality output through innovation in education. DNB pathway for pursuing post graduation is one of the most economical methods. This coupled with the facts that the reach of DNB could be to every single hospital in the country such as the District Hospital , Municipal and ESI hospitals as well as the large private sector hospitals where it shall be difficult to create MD positions.
National Board of Examinations is appropriately geared up to work in line with the mission and vision of Government of India.
Q) Sir, the FM also mentioned about structural transformation of the regulatory framework of the medical education and practice in India. Indeed, it seems he was referring to National Medical Commission. Your reaction
The regulatory reforms in the framework of medical education and medical practice in India are necessitated as the Hon’ble Supreme Court while setting up the oversight committee to look in to the affairs of MCI had clearly mandated undertaking such reforms in the period of one year. Further a number of expert committees have already made their recommendations on the futuristic approach for handling medical education and medical practice in India. The report of Niti Aayog setting up of National Medical Commission is already in the public domain and it is very likely that the proposed reforms which have been duly vetted under the expert guidance of Niti Aayog shall be implemented by the Government in days to come.