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One-year rural posting made mandatory for MBBS students

 

Aspiring doctors will have to spend a year working in rural areas before getting their MBBS degrees, as the government has decided to make rural posting compulsory for them.

In a letter to the Medical Council of India (MCI), the Health Ministry has asked its Board of Governors to make rural posting for doctors mandatory and include it in the MBBS course curriculum.

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Aspiring doctors will have to spend a year working in rural areas before getting their MBBS degrees, as the government has decided to make rural posting compulsory for them.

In a letter to the Medical Council of India (MCI), the Health Ministry has asked its Board of Governors to make rural posting for doctors mandatory and include it in the MBBS course curriculum.

Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said doctors will be attached with the Ministry's flagship National Rural Health Mission during the year-long rural posting which will also help improve health care services in villages.

Once this proposal becomes part of MBBS curriculum, a medical student, after completing 4.5 years of study and thereafter the hospital internship, will have to undergo a mandatory year-long house job in the form of a rural posting before getting the MBBS degree. Till then, the degree would be provisional.

Chairman of MCI Board of Governors K K Talwar said the one-year compulsory rural posting for doctors is in the offing and modalities in this respect are being worked out. The posting would be made mandatory in a designated rural area.

"We are working on this. A mechanism is being evolved in this regard. An expert committee is looking into this and will recommend modalities in its meeting soon, after which the details worked out will be sent to the Health Ministry for its approval," Talwar said.

Sources say the government is working to do away with the compulsory three-month rural posting during the year-long MBBS internship and the same will be made part of the one-year rural house job with an NRHM facility henceforth.

Talwar said this one-year mandatory rural posting will help aspiring doctors to learn from senior doctors who will act as mentors in the rural area.

The MBBS graduates, he said, will be attached with a rural hospital and a nearby medical college during this one-year period. They will also get a reasonable stipend from the NRHM for their services during this period, he said.

Justifying the proposal, Azad said it takes almost seven years or even more to become a doctor and to actually get the permission to start prescribing medicines in developed countries whereas the MBBS course duration in India is much shorter.

The Minister said due to the shorter duration of the course here than in the developed nations, many students prefer to study MBBS course in India and then carry out higher studies abroad.

Talwar also said that it takes seven to eight years to obtain a medical undergraduate degree in most countries and studying in India is also cheaper than in the developed world.

"The rural posting will go in favour of students aspiring to be doctors as it will help them upgrade their skills when mentored by senior doctors. The provision will give them peripheral exposure while also granting them reasonable facilities where they can hone their skills," he said.

He said the Council will make all such recommendations to the Health Ministry soon before this proposal is implemented.

Government's efforts to attract doctors for rural postings through various incentives earlier did not yield any fruit, as there were no takers for 50 percent reservation in postgraduate courses for MBBS doctors who opted for rural stints after taking undergraduate degree.

MBBS students who did a year of rural service were to get 10 marks as additional weightage in MD examination, while those who did three years service in backward areas were to get 30 marks. The scheme did not have a single taker.

"I say it with regret that our doctors have decided not to go to rural areas. Nobody has come forward to avail of the incentives offered by the Government," Azad had said in Parliament last week.



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HEALTHCARE

Arunachal Pradesh Launches Two New Contraceptives

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Arunachal Pradesh government has launched two new contraceptives – an injectable one and a pill – under separate programmes to expand people’s choice contraceptives.

The injectable contraceptive was launched under the ‘Antara’ programme and the pill under ‘Chhaya’.

Gynecologists of various districts of the state were also trained on the new contraceptives during a programme. Family Welfare Director Dr K Lego urged people to take up the responsibility of providing the people the basket of contraceptives to avoid unnecessary abortion, teenage pregnancy and spacing.

India was the first country in the world to launch family planning programme as early as in 1952 with the aim of controlling its population, he said.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had launched two new contraceptives in September last year.

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India Registers Significant Decline in Child Mortality Rate

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Rate of decline has doubled over last year

Big boost to ‘Mission Indradhanush’

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda, expressed happiness over the just-released SRS bulletin (2016) as India registered a significant decline in under-five child mortality.

According to the bulletin, under-five child mortality (U5MR) of India showed an impressive decline by 9%, a 4 points decline from 43 per 1000 in 2015 to 39 in 2016.

The rate of decline has doubled over the last year. Not only this, number of under-five deaths for the first time in the country have come down to below 1 million with nearly 120,000 fewer under-five deaths in 2016 as compared to 2015.

Most of the states have shown good progress in reduction of under-five child mortality from the previous year, except Chattisgarh, Delhi and Uttarakhand, which have shown a slight increase over the previous year and Telangana, which has shown no change in 2016.

Congratulating all those associated with this remarkable feat,  Shri Nadda stated that the results signify that the strategic approach of the Government is yielding dividends and the efforts of focusing on low performing states are paying off. He stated that India with the current rate of decline of U5MR is on track to meet the SDG target for under-five child mortality of 25 by 2030.

The Health Minister further said that under the visionary leadership and guidance of the Hon. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji, the government is committed to advancing the agenda of Universal Health Coverage in the country and its initiatives like Mission Indradhanush and Intensified Mission Indradhanush, with their focused approach, is significantly turning the tide in favour of India.

Shri Nadda said that these remarkable achievements in merely one year are the result of countrywide efforts to increase the health service coverage through various initiatives of the Government that include strengthening of service delivery; quality assurance; RMNCH+A interventions; strengthening human resources and community processes; information and knowledge; drugs and diagnostics, and supply chain management, etc.

According to the SRS Bulletin, the gender gap in India for child survival is reducing steadily; the gender difference between female and male under-five mortality rates has now reduced to 11% which was as high as 17% in 2014.

The current under-five mortality for the male child is 37 per 1000, while for the female child is 41 per 1000 live births.

Amongst the bigger states, seven states (Chattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, MP, Odisha, Tamil Nadu Telangana) have reversed the gender gap in the survival of the female child, while four of these have reversed the gender gap for under-five survival. These are Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

Telangana, West Bengal, Odisha, Punjab and Delhi have depicted less than 5% gap in mortality of female child and are within striking distance to reverse the gender gap. The maximum gender gap in the survival of under-five for the female child is in Bihar (46% higher mortality for the female child), followed by Haryana (23%), Kerala (20%), Assam, Karnataka (19%) and Rajasthan (17%).

Further, the SRS Bulletin also shows that the neonatal mortality rate has reduced by 1 point from 25 per 1000 live births to 24 per 1000.

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HEALTHCARE

Government Approves Closure of Autonomous Healthcare Bodies

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Cabinet approves rationalization of Autonomous Bodies under Department of Health & Family Welfare

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for closure of Autonomous Bodies, namely, Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) and Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (JSK) and the functions are proposed to be vested in Department of Health & Family Welfare (DoHFW).

The rationalization of Autonomous Bodies under Department of Health & Family Welfare will involve inter-ministerial consultations and review of existing bye-laws of these bodies. The timeframe for implementation is one year,

Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) was set up as a registered society to provide financial medical assistance to poor patients receiving treatment in designated central government hospitals. An advance is placed with the Medical Superintendents of such hospitals who then provide assistance on a case to case basis.

Since the DoHFW provides funds to the hospitals, the grants can be given from the Department to the hospital directly. RAN functions can, therefore, be vested in DoHFW. Managing Committee of RAN Society will meet to dissolve the Autonomous Body (AB) as per provisions of Societies Registration Act, 1860 (SRA).

In addition to this, Health Minister’s Cancer Patient Fund (HMCPF) shall also be transferred to the Department. The timeline required for this is one year.

Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh (JSK) was set up with a corpus grant of Rs.100 crores in the year 2003 to raise awareness for population stabilization strategies. JSK organizes various activities with target populations as a part of its mandate.

There has been no continuous funding to JSK from the Ministry. Population stabilization strategies require private and corporate funding, which can be accessed through JSK. Although JSK will continue to play a significant role in population stabilization strategies, its existence as an Autonomous Body is not necessary. Hence, JSK as an Autonomous Body can be closed as it can be administered by the Department as a fund.

Background:   

Based on the recommendations of Expenditure Management Commission, NITI Aayog had undertaken a review of the 19 Autonomous Bodies, under the DoHFW, that have been formed under Societies Registration Act, 1860 (SRA) and submitted the Interim Report of the Committee for the Review of ABs with recommendations to rationalize the same.

The main concern of the Government is that ABs are required to be reviewed and rationalised with a view to improving their outcomes, effectiveness and efficiency, utilisation of financial and human resources, synergy, governance and relevance in current policy and programme context, with improved monitoring and oversight. The Committee had recommended closure of RAN and JSK and their functions to be vested in the Ministry.

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