Tuesday, August 19, 2014

AIMS Suggests Medical PG Courses Instead of MBBS College

AIMS Suggests Medical PG Courses Instead of MBBS College

To overcome the shortage of health care specialists in the Islands, Prem Nair, MD, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi suggested that it would be wise to commence PG Courses instead of going for a MBBS College.

Giving a presentation on the benefits of having PG Courses in the Islands, Prem Nair said that it would be cost-effective and will also help overcome the shortage of specialists. He was speaking to a gathering at the Chinmaya Mission, Port Blair.  

“We have been coming to the Islands for almost a decade now to serve the Islanders. We are honoured for this opportunity provided,” he said.

He observed that some of the health care requirements are not available at G.B. Pant Hospital. The Islands are far away from the mainland and so acute medical care needs should be addressed in the Islands itself, he explained.

“Infectious diseases are not a major concern today. But specialized treatment is required for diseases relating to heart, kidney etc. which are increasing manifold,” he said.

“We have given a presentation to the Administration on the need for specialised health care facilities in the Islands. Our first recommendation to the Administration was to immediately provide Acute Medical Care facilities at the GB Pant itself and to get specialists in 8-10 specialities at least. This can be started immediately,” he said.

“We have also suggested initiating a Post Graduate Medical course in the Islands as second phase towards improving the health care facilities. In this case, the students who come for PG Courses will be able to provide specialised treatment too. This would incur much lesser cost to the exchequer”, Nair said.

“Starting a MBBS programme is a very complicated and costly affair”, the MD of AIMS cleared. On the other hand, for Speciality Programme, mere Rs. 12-14 Crore would be required apart from adding a few equipments. The rest is already available at G.B. Pant Hospital. Moreover, starting a MBBS programme would require at least 300 faculties to join and stay in the Islands for a long time," he said.

“It is our recommendation to plan a PG Programme, which will be able to take care of the immediate medical emergencies.”

As far as MBBS seat for the Islands’ students is concerned, we can work with the Govt. of India to increase the number of seats being allotted presently. “I suggest this because the cost of medical surgical care is very low compared to the cost involved in setting up a medical college. The amount of Rs. 500 Crore for set aside for starting a MBBS Programme can be used as corpus to further improve the health care standards in the Islands,” Nair suggested.

The MD of AIMS also appealed to the administration to look into the suggestion in a different way. “We will not neglect the children of the Islands but will help them by fighting with the Govt. of India to increase the number of seats,” he stressed.

He further opined that the MBBS Course is not feasible for the Islands as the quality will suffer as the population of the Islands is less and is not sufficient to train the doctors efficiently in the long run.  

Addressing the gathering, Bishnu Pada Ray, Member of Parliament added that the project of medical college costing Rs. 500 Crores, was initially to be implemented in PPP mode, as was decided by the Administration.

Questioning the present decision of the Administration to set up Medical College through a society, he asked why the Administration shelved the idea of PPP mode. He also alleged that ANIIDCO and SOVTEC have failed miserably in executing projects like Under Sea Optical Fibre Cable.

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