As the government of India aiming to set up National Medical Commission (NMC) in six months to tackle graft; The government proposes to deploy 250,000 CHPs; following a proper registration process, in remote villages to treat patients. Protesting doctors alleged the government is practically authorizing quacks to play with the life of unsuspecting patients.
But the government saying that the National Medical Commission Act 2019 is a progressive legislation; which will reduce the burden on students; ensure probity in medical education, bring down costs of medical education, simplify procedures; help enhance the number of medical seats in India, ensure quality education, and provide wider access to people for quality healthcare.
As the National Medical Commission will be an overarching body; which will frame policies and coordinate the activities of four autonomous boards. But these boards will look after the work of undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) education; medical assessment and rating; and ethics and medical registration.
Proper registration process
One of the mandates of NMC is to look at the cost of medical education. It also provides for a common entrance test for MBBS, along with common counselling process for all medical institutions in the country. This provision will prevent seat blocking in parallel counselling processes and will eliminate the need for students to approach multiple colleges and take part in multiple counselling sessions for admission.
However, the health minister saying that the so called quacks in the country do not possess any qualifications and would not be able to meet the conditions that will be set by the National Medical Commission for becoming a CHP. Also, they will have limited powers for providing primary and preventive healthcare at the mid-level.
But it is looking at universal health coverage and, more importantly, universal screening of our population for non-communicable diseases in the years to come. This requires a large number of health professionals. Doctors are a scarce resource in our country and need to be optimally utilizing. They are indispensable for secondary and tertiary care; the only area where other health professionals can supplement them is preventive and primary healthcare.
However, the government aims to place CHPs in remote areas; where doctors are not available, who can be using to counsel the population, provide early warnings; treat elementary ailments, and refer patients to a better facility. But as the rural population deserves the best healthcare facilities. This system is continuing and efforts are being made to fill up vacancies at such centres.