Demand for separate Indian Medical Services cadre reaches PMO
New Delhi: Mentioning that specialists with adequate practical knowledge of the health sector could have handled the Covid-19 pandemic in much better way, the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) India has recently written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding the creation of Indian Medical Service (IMS) Cadre at the earliest.
The letter mentioned how doctors from various specialties could have devised effective strategies to control the Coronavirus Epidemic.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported about the long-standing demand for setting up Indian Medical services previously expressed by the Resident Doctors Association (RDA) at the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA), and later the Indian Medical Association.
Moreover, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, headed by Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav, in its 126th report on Demands for Grants 2021-22 had also expressed its views in favor of exploring the possibilities of setting up such exclusive Service aiming to bring a major change in the healthcare sector across the country.
Keeping in mind the incredible role of Corona warriors during combating the vicissitude of coronavirus, the Committee in its report dated 08.03.2021 opined that the present moment holds the golden opportunity to explore the possibility of organizing Indian medical services in order to create a specialized task force for implementation of the flagship program relating to health.
Now, the FORDA has approached the Prime Minister seeking a separate Indian Medical Services cadre. The letter dated 03.05.2021 mentioned the Mudaliar Committee report that recommended forming a Central Health cadre back in 1961.
"Seeing the current national COVID scenario, it is worthy to mention that subject specialists with adequate practical knowledge of the health sector, could have handled the situation better. Doctors from various specialties could have devised further effective strategies for controlling the Epidemic. Unnecessary altercations of Doctors while discharging their duties, have also been observed on multiple occasions with bureaucrats who lack subject-specific knowledge," stated the letter signed by Dr. Partha Bora, President of FORDA.
The letter began with the Epidemic lessons, including the need to improvise the healthcare infrastructure from the basics. "The Medical fraternity stands together in this national response to COVID-19 Epidemic. Doctors and other healthcare workers are putting in their best efforts in this epidemic. This epidemic has taught us many lessons, one of them being the need for improving the healthcare infrastructure of the nation beginning from the grassroots. Healthcare system demands a thorough knowledge of the domain. Knowledge of subject specialists (Doctors) in devising policies, is essential for galvanizing the healthcare system of the nation."
Mentioning that the demand for a separate cadre of healthcare professionals, in line with IAS, IPS, etc., is a long-pending one, the letter further added, "The Health Survey and Planning Committee (also known as Mudaliar Committee) had recommended the formation of a Central Health Cadre in its report submitted in 1961, for creating a coordinated program of action in which the Centre and States will cooperate for satisfactory and speedy results in the healthcare sector. Subsequently, while a memorandum of Indian Medical and Health Service was drafted by the Central Council of Health in 1966, the Government of India had decided to constitute the All India Medical and Health Service, way back in 1968. However, even after multiple discussions and consultations with states over the years, this cadre is yet to be brought into action on the field."
Pointing to the recent report by the Parliamentary Committee, the letter mentioned, "The Parliamentary Committee in its 126th report on 08/03/21 has also opined in favor of creation of Indian Medical Services (IMS) for managing the healthcare system of the country at Primary, Secondary & Tertiary levels."
The letter ended with a request to the Prime Minister to take necessary measures for creation of IMS Cadre at the earliest, in best interest of the nation.
A copy of the letter has also been sent to the Home Minister Amit Shah and Health Minister, Dr. Harshvardhan.
Sharing the letter on their Twitter handle, FORDA India wrote, "Requesting the Hon'ble @PMOIndia to turn this long pending demand of creation of the Indian Medical Services(IMS) cadre into reality. Need of the hour."