Editorials, GS-2, Uncategorized

Bitter medicine for the Centre

The Hindu

The Supreme Court has set up a three-member committee headed by former Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha to perform the statutory functions of the Medical Council of India.

Issues which needs reform on urgent basis are:

  • Need to reduce the cost of medical education and increase access in different parts of the country.
  • Need to improve the doctor-to-population ratio, which is one for every 1,674 persons, as per the parliamentary panel report, against the WHO-recommended one to 1,000.
  • Need to remove bottlenecks to start medical colleges, such as conditions stipulating the possession of a vast extent of land and needlessly extensive infrastructure, and to considerably rectify the imbalance, especially in underserved States.
    • The primary criterion to set up a college should only be the availability of suitable facilities to impart quality medical education.
  • The development of health facilities has long been affected by a sharp asymmetry between undergraduate and postgraduate seats in medicine.
    • There are only about 25,000 PG seats, against a capacity of 55,000 graduate seats. The Lodha committee will review this gap.
  • National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, some States
    • Will addresses issues such as the urban-rural divide and language barriers.

The single most important issue that the Lodha committee would have to address is corruption in medical education, in which the MCI is mired.

  • Appointing prominent persons from various fields to a restructured council would shine the light of transparency, and save it from reverting to its image as an “exclusive club” of socially disconnected doctors.

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