GoI approves 18-month Allopathy training course, medical professionals protest
Srinagar: The Government of India has approved an 18-month training course in Allopathic medicine to those who have passed Class 10, to enable them to treat ailing people in rural areas.
The course, named ‘Community Medical Services and Essential Drugs’, will be run by the autonomous body Public Health Education Council (PHEC). It will teach Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Preventive and Social Medicine (PSM), Practice of Medicine, Health and Hygiene, and Medical Jurisprudence.
“The eligibility for the course has been kept as minimum 10th pass or higher degrees. Already practicing rural doctors, RMPs, BAMS, BHMS, BUMS, BSMS, BEMS, BNYS, BPT, DPT, BPharma, DPharma, Degree/Diploma in Alternative Medicines, Paramedical, Nursing, Naturopathy, Dental practitioners can also apply for the course,” the PHEC has said.
The PHEC claims that the 18-month CMS diploma will enable students to start medical practice in rural areas and prescribe allopathic medicines recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for primary health care.
“The legal status of the CMS Diploma is that its holder can treat all diseases including infectious diseases and issue a medical certificate to their patient,” the council said.
It said that the Supreme Court of India has permitted CMS diploma holders to use general allopathic medicines for primary health care.
Medical professionals in J&K condemned the new course and said it would legalise quackery.
“It will lead to degradation of primary health care, which is on the path of improvement since last decade. These types of bridge courses will result in mushrooming of quackery and will be a constant threat to humanity,” said Dr Suhail Naik, President of Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK).
“How come a Matric pass with little knowledge of human anatomy and physiology will give drugs to people?” he questioned. “No one should be allowed to prescribe allopathic drugs unless and until his or her degree is recognised by State Medical Council,” he said, adding that DAK will protest the move.
Dr Salim Khan, a public health expert, told Kashmir Reader that these courses are not recognised by the Medical Council of India and state medical councils.
“It is dignified quackery. Theoretical knowledge without clinic training can put at risk lives of patients. No one can practice without registration by medical council. Even if they may be allowed to practice, who shall define their boundary and limitations?” he asked.
Principal of Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar, Dr Samia Rashid, termed the move as uncalled for. “We can never support this kind of ill-conceived course. It should have been limited to generating awareness and collecting data. No one can treat diseases and prescribe medicines just with an 18-month course,” she said.
President of J&K Medical Council, ML Goswami, said they do not approve of such bridge courses. “I don’t know why this course was introduced. The medical council cannot recognise them as we only allow MBBS doctors to practise,” he said.
Early this year, medical professionals were on the warpath over the government’s move to offer training in Allopathy to students of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy under the National Medical Commission (NMC). Organisations representing doctors, such as the Indian Medical Association (IMA), claimed it would only lead to the “back-door entry of second-grade doctors.”
Following the resentment, the decision was revoked by the Government of India. Now this new course has again attracted controversy from various quarters.