MCI proposes evidence-based healthcare module

Decision to help medical students arrive at appropriate conclusions

The Medical Council of India is planning to introduce a module on evidence-based healthcare at the undergraduate and postgraduate level in medical colleges in the country.

Chairperson of the board of directors of MCI, K K Talwar has asked experts to assist him in formulating the course. The decision will impact nearly 350 colleges in the country.
Talwar said doctors in the making should be taught how to use new techniques and diagnostics to arrive at more appropriate conclusions which reduce financial burden on the patients.

“We should use new drugs and procedures keeping the best interest of patients in mind,” said Talwar. He was speaking at the closing ceremony of the first international conference on Evidence-Based Healthcare.

In the two-day conference, organised by the clinical epidemiology unit of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a new organisation, the International Society for Evidence-Based Healthcare, was also launched.

Mentioning about heart failure cases, he said there are instances where doctors ask patients to go for additional diagnostics, despite initial diagnosis being clear. He said this practice should be avoided and that will be the purpose of the course. Talking about handling of increasing complaints of medical negligence, Talwar said MCI has included social scientists in its committee to do away with charges of bias favouring doctors.

“We have included social scientists as people believe there is a bias when doctors inquire into complaints against doctors,” he said, adding that  functioning of MCI has become more robust in terms of inquiring into complaints received.

The committee of MCI includes professors from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Rama Baru of the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health and Atul Sood of the Centre for Study of Regional Development.

In a recently conducted study in AIIMS, it was found that 48 per cent of the patients coming to hospital’s neuro-OPD were adversely affected due to unnecessary drugs. In an analysis of prescriptions of 250 patients who came to AIIMS from different parts of the country after being treated elsewhere, it was found that their previous prescriptions contained neuro-protective drugs.

Kameshwar Prasad of the neurology department of AIIMS said the patients did not need these drugs. He added that doctors in AIIMS do not prescribe those drugs. In one prescription, a doctor had recommended 32 drugs to a single patient. He said the responsibility lies on patients, who should not accept drugs blindly by doctors and talk in detail before starting the treatment.

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