Ministries told to settle medical education issue soon

Ministries told to settle medical education issue soon

PMO gives one weeks time to health and HRD ministries

Ministries told to settle medical education issue soon

With both pushing hard to retain control over medical education, representatives and officials of two ministries met on Friday at the prime minister’s office where T K K Nair, principal secretary to the prime minister asked them to settle the debate within one week as the government wanted to have a road map on medical education before the budget session of the Parliament.

“Possible linkages between the two were discussed to find out if both can co-exist and work together. We will meet again next Friday,” one of top officials who attended the meeting told Deccan Herald.

Warpath

The two ministries had been on warpath for the last two years. While Union Health Ministry proposed a National Council for Human Resources in Health (NCHRH), the HRD ministry suggested a National Commission on Higher Education and Research (NCHER) Bill for regulating the entire spectrum of higher education, including medical and legal education.

Agriculture education is the only area, which has been left out in the draft NCHER Bill since it is a state subject. The NCHRH, on the other hand, was meant for revamping the HR need for the healthcare sector and replace the Medical Council of India. Besides education, its other tasks would be to maintain doctors’ registration and giving accreditation to medical institutions.

Furthermore, the proposed council would be mandated to conduct a national level exit examination for broad and super-speciality postgraduates. It would also regulate nursing, dentistry and pharmacy education.

Since the NCHRH was announced by the President Pratibha Patil after the UPA-II came to power in 2003, the government is not in a position to back out. But with the HRD ministry justifying its demand to include medical education with overall higher education, a compromise appears to be the only way out.

One of the possible compromises could be delinking medical education from other current activities of MCI such as maintaining the registration of Indian doctors and looking after the quality, ethical medical practices and training. “But nothing has been decided yet,” said a source.

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