गरीब लहरों पर पहरे बिठाए जाते हैं
समंदरों की तलाशी कोई नहीं लेता।
This unfortunate scenario is the hallmark of the typical Indian system where from the time immemorial the soft targets, the personification of truth, honesty and dedication, have been subjected to undergo the suffering of acid tests. During the days of Ramayana it was the soft, docile Sita, the Goddess persona of love and devotion who was subjected to multiple Fire tests to the extent that finally she could bear no more and buried herself underground. Today it is the hardworking medical fraternity, leaving aside the other much more corrupt fragments of the society like the judiciary, the politicians and almost the entire administrative agencies, that is bearing the burnt of governmental malice ,why? because they are docile, disintegrated and do not posses any nuisance value. This National medical commission bill, it looks like, will be the final nail in their coffin.
Today, I shall restrict myself to discuss only the two features of this ominous and illogical bill.
The Bridge Course
The bill makes a provision that people who have been trained in the system other than the modern allopathic system of medicine can, after a bridge course of six months, register themselves in the national medical register and can practice allopathic medicine at par with the allopathic doctors. This, I say, exposes the mental bankruptcy of the people sitting in the highest echelons of the system or else they are acting with a predetermined purpose of hijacking the industry, of looting the merits of the industry and substituting it with incompetency to suit their own monetary gains. Surely the idea is not to improve the doctor patient ratio, that seems to be a byproduct rather than the original motive, because creating a workforce of substandard capability in the field of medicine can very well be a tool for population control but definitely not to improve the healthcare services. I don’t see a parallel of this in any other fragments of the system which are suffering from even worse manpower shortage. Take for example judiciary there are thousands of cases pending due to lack of enough number of judges, can the government start a bridge course to convert Peshkars and Munshi to promote them to judge.
The idea perhaps is to create a workforce who could be hired by the big corporate house at much lesser salary than the MBBS doctors even if it means compromising the quality of the services delivered, even if it means jeopardising the health of the general public because these doctors will go outside the realm of big hospitals and practice on their own and cater mostly to the ignorant lay public.
I fail to understand that if the idea is only to increase the number of doctors why not let them practice in the system they have been trained in, they will be doctors anyway and probably will be able to do more justice to their profession.
2. The exit exam
The Bill mandates that an exit exam be passed before a medical graduate is allowed to practice…..No harm probably, but definitely another illogical and purposeless move – test those who are already tested that too not once but a number of times.
Before a candidate gets selected for medical graduation he has to clear the entrance test, NEET, needless to say that only the cream are selected, than he goes through the five and half years of strident training clears, four difficult examinations before he is conferred the degree. It is also worth noting at this point the final MBBS examination get a mention in the Guinness book of records as the toughest examination a student goes through. On top of this to subject him to another exam is absurdity of the highest order.
The exam will result into mushrooming of another set of coaching centres, coaching for the exit exam, and will serve as a tool of corruption because as per the provision of the bill even if one fails the exam council has the right to grant license to such candidates.
Someone said that the whole idea of this national medical commission is to serve as the face-saving tool for the health ministry, to ostentatiously project that something constructive is being done by the ministry where as fact of the matter is, that whole achievement of the health ministry over the last three and a half years of the Modi government is a big zero.