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NMC Chairman lists initiatives aimed at improving medical facilities in India, ET HealthWorld

Shalini Bharadwaj

New Delhi: National Medical Commission (NMC) Chairman Dr BN Gangadhar on Tuesday stressed that his primary focus is to ensure the highest quality in medical education in India.

Dr Gangadhar stressed the importance of maintaining and enhancing the country’s reputation in producing high-quality doctors.

“Quality, quality and quality. This is because our country has always produced the best quality doctors. It is very important that we make this even better and ensure that the quality education is at par with the quality medical education in India”.

Speaking on the shortage of teachers in medical institutions, Dr. Gangadhar explained that it is challenging to attract individuals to the teaching profession due to various constraints. He highlighted the need to expand the pool of teachers and ensure that medical colleges have adequate patient population to facilitate effective teaching.

“Non-availability of faculty, people coming into the teaching profession for one reason or another, whatever it may be, our rules are very limited, all this can go on. One of our objectives is to provide a large pool of teachers. The other issue is that in some medical colleges there is some shortage in terms of the number of patients, we need to ensure that the number of patients is good and the number of teachers is also good,” he said.

Responding to a recent RTI revelation that 119 medical students had committed suicide in the last five years, Dr Gangadhar said the NMC has set up a task force to study mental health issues and suicide among medical students.

He said, “We have already constituted a national expert committee which has looked into the whole matter and given some recommendations. There are multiple reasons, not just one reason. So it is difficult to say whether all the reasons should be implemented, there are some highly individual-specific reasons and there are other social reasons as well, like drug use and other problems and addiction. I think we need to look at multiple issues.”

Dr Gangadhar also stressed the importance of transparency in the evaluation of medical colleges and mentioned the implementation of Aadhaar-enabled attendance system to ensure accurate records.

“Transparency is very important and this is a big issue with regard to the evaluation of colleges, where we have to send experts and they have to evaluate the teachers and the number of patients they have. The number of patients is not an issue in government hospitals. We want colleges to be more responsible in declaring the number of patients they have. We have already implemented the Aadhaar-enabled attendance system, which will ensure many things,” he said.

Regarding the use of unique ABHA ID for patients, Dr Gangadhar highlighted the move to make patient identification more electronic and reduce instances of fake patients.

“The second thing is the number of patients, which is another area of ​​so-called fake patients. The news that we keep reading and the honourable courts have also taken note of this is that you should do surprise inspections, not tell the college, etc. We want to make it a little more electronic. We want a unique patient ID to be available.

ABHA ID is a unique ID for every individual. I believe a lot of people have started getting ABHA ID, all that needs to be done is that the person should have an Aadhaar card. This will authenticate this AABHA ID. So no data from Aadhaar will come to any hospital, ABHA ID will be sufficient for the purpose of identification of the individual. We have already issued an initial advisory which is now mandatory. The patient data related to ABHA ID is the one that will be counted for any adequacy of clinical content purposes,” he elaborated.

Dr. Gangadhar also announced the introduction of a family adoption programme for medical colleges running MBBS courses, under which they would have to submit details on the NMC portal.

“We have already started a family adoption programme. From day one, students will adopt five or six families in a rural area. Each college will adopt a village, so that they can stay connected and engaged with that family for a period of three to four years. And this will greatly improve self-esteem,” he said.

The NMC initiative aims to improve the quality and transparency of medical education in India, as well as address critical issues such as mental health and faculty shortage.

  • Published on Jul 10, 2024 06:36 AM IST

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