NRI doctors will be allowed to practise in India: Azad

NRI doctors will be allowed to practise in India: Azad

Centre plans to screen people for major diseases

Non-resident Indian (NRI) doctors, who were recently allowed to join as faculty in medical colleges in India, will soon be allowed to practise here, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad announced on Saturday.

He was speaking after inaugurating India’s first Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) medical college at Rajajinagar at a formal function at the Vidhana Soudha.

Azad said NRI doctors who had done their post-graduation in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand would be allowed to practise in India. The move was aimed at reducing the acute shortage of doctors in the country, he said.
“We had allowed NRI doctors from these countries to teach medicine. Now, we will allow them to practise,” Azad said.

The minister said suitable changes would be made in the National Council of Human Resources in Health (NCHRH) Bill and placed before parliament for approval.

Azad said, under the national programme for control of non-communicable diseases, the Centre planned to screen the nation’s entire population for diabetes, hypertension, cardio-vascular diseases and cancer.

A pilot project had already been launched in 100 districts of 21 States for prevention, early detection and treatment of these ailments. However, the programme was moving at a sluggish pace due to shortage of doctors, he said. A recent planning commission document had put the shortage of doctors in the country at around six lakh.

The Centre has relaxed eligibility and infrastructure criteria to encourage the private sector to open more medical colleges, he said. The Medical Council of India (MCI) will soon enhance the teacher:student ratio for MD courses in forensic medicine, oncology, surgical oncology and radiology, he said. The move will help increase the number of superspecialists in these fields.
The ESIC medical college at Rajajinagar has admitted 100 students for MBBS course in its first batch this year (2012-13).
More colleges
Union Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said the medical college had been planned to be at a par with international standards in terms of infrastructure and other facilities. He said the Centre was mulling over reserving 45 to 50 per cent seats in ESIC medical colleges for children of employees insured under ESI scheme.

“These medical colleges are coming up with the funds contributed by employees. The children of such employees deserve to be given weightage during admission. MCI has been requested to propose the required amendments. We will send the proposal to the Attorney General for legal opinion”, Kharge said.

He said the labour ministry had sanctioned projects worth over 3,000 crore to the State. The State’s second ESIC medical college in Gulbarga would be opened soon, he said.
ESIC plans to set up eight medical colleges across the country and is ready to start at least four next year if MCI accords approval, Kharge said.

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said the State government would provide necessary support for the ESIC institutions. He said the government was in the process of identifying land for several other projects proposed by the labour ministry, including opening of ESIC nursing and para-medical colleges in the State.