Karnataka: Shortage of well qualified medical practitioners has become an omnipresent problem in India. With the limited number of PG seats at various medical colleges in the country, the shortage has become even more blatant when it comes to presence specialist doctors in corners of the country.
Like other states, the Government of Karnataka also endeavoured towards addressing the issue of shortage of specialists. Many initiatives like direct recruitment and increased salaries for contract specialists were not very effective. However, starting of DNB courses at government district hospitals brought a sigh of relief to the specialist- deficient districts of the state, with 7 district hospitals this year starting their journey with NBE courses with as many as 51 DNB seats. These seats span across variety of PG courses including DNB in medicine, Gynaecology, Surgery, Orthopaedics, Ophthalmology being some specialisations. The doctors joining these courses also signed a bond for three year bond with the government to serve at the district hospitals at the state.Recently a teacher-training/orientation program was organised by Association of National Board Accredited Institutions ( ANBAI), which saw experienced faculty from various DNB teaching institutions providing their expertise and training to district hospital consultants. The session was attended by more than 150 specialists from various district hospitals in Karnataka. " With the efforts of ANBAI, experienced DNB faculties are going to guide these district hospital consultants for the coming 2-3 years in order to empower them to carry on quality DNB teaching further. " Dr Alex Thomas, President ANBAI, informed Medical Dialogues Highlighting the journey, he informed that it indeed has been a tough one, yet one with sweet results," The efforts of Government of Karnataka , NBE and ANBAI spanned over 3 years and saw the cooperation of many Health Secretaries during this time and consistent efforts by leading doctors including Dr Devi Shetty and Dr CN Manjunath . It showed a remarkable example of public private partnership. This year 51 students have joined the 7 hospitals which have been recognised for training. Seeing the light, more district hospitals are applying to NBE to start DNB programmes "
Highlighting the role of ANBAI, Dr Alex Thomas informed Medical Dialogues team, " We are proud to say that ANBAI was able to effectively liaison between the Government of Karnataka and the National Board of Examinations in arriving at a tangible solution by way of starting DNB course in district hospitals, whereby specialist’s services would be made available on a continuous basis.At the teacher's orientation, Dr Rashmikant Dave, Executive Director, NBE, also appreciated the efforts of GoK and promised to explore possibilities of adding points for service of Government doctors at the time of selection to PG courses of NBE Hon’ble Minister for Health & Family Welfare Shri. Sivananda Patil, who was also present at the occasion further called upon the teachers to ensure that this effort is fully utilised for the benefits of our state All candidates who train in the hospitals have to serve in Karnataka for 3 years after they complete the course. The organisations are now also going to focus on NABH accreditation of Government hospitals and the introduction of paediatric surgery services in district hospitals in collaboration with ANBAI and AHPI.