Promotion of Diploma Doctors at Medical Colleges: Health Ministry asks MCI Board of Governors to decide
"Medical professionals already qualified Diploma courses worked in the teaching hospitals for Two years should be given degree after submission of Thesis report"--109 Parliamentary Standing Committee on HealthNew Delhi: Responding to the plea raised by medical practitioners who had received their post Graduate Diploma from MCI recognised medical colleges and then have been stuck in positions...
New Delhi: Responding to the plea raised by medical practitioners who had received their post Graduate Diploma from MCI recognised medical colleges and then have been stuck in positions of senior residents at various medical colleges across the country, the Health Ministry has now asked the Medical Council of India BOG to look into the matter
"I am directed to forward herewith a representation dated 04.09.2018 received from President, PG Diploma Doctors Association regarding promotion of PG Diploma holders in medical colleges. It is, therefore, requested that the matter may kindly be examined and comments thereon may be furnished to this Ministry for necessary action, " the letter from Union Health Secretary to MCI BOG Chairman stated
In terms of post-graduation of medical colleges in India, in many subjects, doctors can either pursue MD/MS which is of three years, or a PG diploma, which is of two years. In terms of curriculum, training and MCI requirements of infrastructure and teaching facilities, both the degrees are almost equal, with the difference lying in one additional year in MD/MS dedicated to THESIS
In terms of job opportunities and future career, though, diploma degree holders face severe disadvantages. As per MCI norms, diploma degree holders cannot pursue super-specialisation through DM/Mch degrees. Further, while NBE offers secondary DNB courses post Diploma candidates, no such option is available for MD/MS courses.,
In terms of job opportunities as well, Diploma candidates face a handicap. As per MCI norms, diploma candidates cannot apply for academic positions at medical colleges. Earlier, they were allowed to work as senior residents at medical colleges, but after June 2017 notification, even this option has been taken away. Existing Diploma senior residents can, however, continue at their existing posts as per MCI.
Given the severe shortage of medical faculties in medical colleges, the 109 Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health also gave the following recommendation
Abolish diploma courses because the only difference between diploma and degree is duration of the course (One-year difference) and submission of thesis report. Both students trained by same colleges with same infrastructure. Instead of Diploma course increase number of degree seats that will increase number of teaching medical professionals.
Medical professionals already qualified Diploma courses worked in the teaching hospitals for Two years should be given degree after submission of Thesis report.
MCI on its part, noting the issue at hand decided to stop all MCI recognised postgraduate diploma courses in Medical colleges and give equal number of MD/MS seats in return to the medical colleges. The decision, which is being applied prospectively is indeed going to benefit the future generation of specialists but leaves behind thousands of doctors who are holding MCI recognised Diploma Degrees but do not have any avenue of career progression.
" I have been working in a medical college since 2002 as a Senior Resident after completing PG diploma in Ophthalmology. In the past 17 years of my service, I have got no promotion and although my knowledge and work is at par with MD/MS doctors, i am stuck at a post equal to an MBBS graduate." Dr. Z. A. Golewale President PG Diploma Doctors Association told Medical Dialogues team
"With the current illogical rules of MCI, I regret joining a medical college and feel i would have been better off working in the private sector. Is it not Injustice that MCI recognises DNB, MSc PhD and many foreign universities degrees and their own Diploma doctors are denied promotions?" he added
Highlighting the ready army of qualified doctors which can be available for meeting the severe shortage of teaching faculty in medical colleges, PG Diploma Doctors Association had written to the MCI, Prime Minister as well as the Health Ministry, reiterating the recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee and demanding an avenue for career enhancement
" We have asked the authorities to consider Parliamentary Standing Committee recommendations in this regard. Any policy in this regard, would be welcome as currently we have been totally neglected. Around 10000 Doctors with post graduate diploma degree will be benefitted across India and shortage of Medical faculty in Medical Colleges will be reduced significantly." Dr Golewale said
Responding to the plea, the Health ministry has now asked the newly appointed MCI Board of Governors to look into the matter.
Read Also: 5 Critical Decisions before the new MCI Board of Governors
Meghna A Singhania is the founder and Editor-in-Chief at Medical Dialogues. An Economics graduate from Delhi University and a post graduate from London School of Economics and Political Science, her key research interest lies in health economics, and policy making in health and medical sector in the country.She is a member of the Association of Healthcare Journalists. She can be contacted at email@example.com. Contact no. 011-43720751