Need Of The Hour

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Mar 2018 10:31:50


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every year we will have as many new doctors inducted into the system. This has to be a windfall for the healthcare sector. The Government medical colleges and hospitals still have the bulk of patient share in the country.


Whichever way we look at it, new Government medical colleges are the need of the hour. The step should have been taken years back but even now it is as relevant and effective. Twenty-four is a big number and we will have additional about 3,000-4000 new medical seats, which is a boon in this doctor-starved nation

WITH an aim to enhancing the accessibility of quality medical education and healthcare, the Centre will set up 24 new Government medical colleges and hospitals by upgrading existing district hospitals in the country.
“We would ensure that there is at least one medical college for every three parliamentary constituencies and at least one Government medical college in each State of the country,” Arun Jaitley recently declared.


Every year, about 3.5 lakh students aim to pursue medical studies at the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS). However, only a handful of them get through. Currently, there are very few such competent Government medical institutions.


Experts said that people still have lesser faith in private healthcare institutions in terms of teaching practices and for charging lakhs of rupees as the fee, which is why the opening of new Government colleges becomes all the more important. Over the last few decades, there has been a flood of new private medical colleges in the country but the Government mechanism has not been able to keep pace.
All the surge has been seen in the private sector but the exorbitant costs of studying in these private facilities keep many middle class and poorer students away. Added to it, the number of medical aspirants is ever rising and our country is terribly short of doctors.


Whichever way we look at it, new Government medical colleges are the need of the hour. The step should have been taken years back but even now it is as relevant and effective. Twenty-four is a big number and we will have additional about 3,000-4000 new medical seats, which is a boon in this doctor-starved nation.


Every year we will have as many new doctors inducted into the system. This has to be a windfall for the healthcare sector. The Government medical colleges and hospitals still have the bulk of patient share in the country. The better they are facilitated and upgraded, better it is for the masses, who cannot afford to get treated from private hospitals for the cost that entails.


More the number of people covered under the Government healthcare facility, better it is for the health and economy of the nation. Therefore, the new venture of the Government is a double-edged sword.


On the one hand, it is going to brighten the future of thousands of youth every year, while on the other, healthcare facilities for commoners in small towns will improve, with better doctors, more funding and better monitoring. But the effort must not stop here.
The new colleges must be on par with AIIMS and other institutes of excellence. There should be no negligence or lack of accountability or resource crunch in sustaining and maintaining a set standard in these med colleges.


One major headache for the Government is to find the right kind of faculty for these institutes. The faculty of an institute has a major role to play in the upkeep of good standard and producing the right kind of students. Many of our colleges are today suffering a huge faculty crunch. The quality has degraded in many.


In many, appointments have not been fair, which has affected administration and teaching. In many of the extant medical colleges and hospitals, there have been regular allegations of negligence, inefficiency and corruption. We need to save our colleges from such mishandling and defamation.


Accountability should be foremost and no one found guilty of dereliction should be spared. It just needs a few years of discipline and honesty and the template is set. Once a college establishes itself as a centre of excellence and earns the right reputation by virtue of its faculty members, its infrastructure and its services, it is hard to dislodge its position.
Our target should be that - to make all these new medical colleges world-class facilities. We have the opportunity to start things anew and we must learn from our past mistakes.


The older medical facilities also need to be improved as many of the oldest medical colleges suffer all the traditional shortcomings like lack of equipment, lack of infrastructure, fund crunch, faculty crunch etc.
The Government may even rope in private entrepreneurs and philanthropic groups to
help resourcing those colleges which need help so that there is no compromise with the standard. Our medical colleges have some of the best doctors in the world but they work under immense pressure and amid several logistic handicaps, which affects the work culture and quality of service.


The Government must do all it can to improve the conditions of these hospitals. Not only the medical colleges, even district hospitals and primary health centres too need to be excellently equipped so that healthcare facilities reach the grassroots level. If the local level hospitals are spruced up and the system strengthened, there will be a lesser load on the bigger hospitals.


Luckily, the opening of new colleges will to some extent assuage the shortage of medicos but that is not enough given the huge population of the country and its medical needs. With growing awareness, growing mobility and connectivity and rise in the number of infections and diseases, the need for doctors in the country is only to spike.


The Government has to keep an eye on enhancing the capacities further either by increasing the number of seats in the medical colleges or by opening more medical colleges in a staggered way to manage the shortfall. The spending on health has to be increased. India is low in human development index and health is one big parameter which brings us down.


If with the right planning and vision the right steps are taken in a time-bound and result-oriented manner, we can improve a lot in the sector and enhance our power quotient in the world because no matter how much we celebrate our GDP growth or share market surge, unless we have better social engineering parameters like healthcare and education, we will always be called laggards.


By the way, it is time to act smart and act fast or we will miss the development bus. We have the capacity; we only need the willingness and the honesty to take the right initiatives.