The shortage of doctors
IFP Editorial: What is now required for increasing medical graduates is ensuring the right incentive and financial support for students undergoing MBBS courses in various institutes
Updated 19 Dec 2021, 10:16 pm
The other day, Chief Minister N Biren Singh rang alarm bells about the acute shortage of doctors in the state and the need for increasing medical (MBBS) seats and the number of physicians at the 14th Foundation Day celebration of Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS). In view of the changing global scenario impacting human health and the ongoing pandemic, it has become all the more important for policy makers to focus on enhancing health infrastructure including health professionals to adequately ensure health service to the general population.
One may take note of the efforts of the Chief Minister to ensure health security for the general masses through the Chief Minister gi Hakshel Tengbang (CMHT) and Health for All scheme in recent years. The intent for providing health security is clear, but it has to be backed by ensuring adequate infrastructure and professionals. Without doctors and nurses besides other health professionals, no health scheme will succeed. With regard to increasing the number of doctors in the state, the chief minister has cited the need for increasing the number of seats for MBBS courses in JNIMS and the recently established medical institute in Churachandpur District Hospital. However, it has been held up due to some pending cases. The problem of course is lack of adequate teaching faculty for catering to the number of MBBS seats available now or for increasing seats according to specifications issued by the National Medical Commission.
Besides RIMS, the state has now two other medical institutes. Numerous Central leaders had promised to uplift RIMS to the level of AIIMS, many times. But, somehow it has eluded the Institute in spite of its various achievements towards providing health education and quality health care facilities to the region. The Institute has come a long way since its establishment in May 1972, as a joint venture of the North Eastern States. On September 14, 1972, the name was changed to Regional Medical College, Imphal. The College was later renamed as North Eastern Regional Medical College under the management of North Eastern Regional Medical College Society. From August, 1976, it was run under the Ministry of Home,
Government of India and was the only medical college run by the Ministry of Home. Nearly 19 years later, the College was again renamed as Regional Institute of Medical Sciences and its management was taken over by NEC, Ministry of DoNER from April 1, 1995. After exactly 12 years, on the historic day of April 1, 2007, the Institute was transferred to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. It is a fact that RIMS is one of the top medical institutions in the entire Northeast. So far, it has produced a cumulative total of 3560 doctors while there are currently 547 undergraduate students at RIMS. A total of 1968 specialist doctors have also been produced from the said institution besides having 402 postgraduate students currently. Many of its products are manning important positions in premier medical institutions in the Northeast and the country, of which the teaching faculty has a number of super-specialists.
Every year, thousands of Science undergraduates from the state compete in the medical entrance examinations and hundreds join the medical graduate courses. As a result, we get hundreds of medical graduates every year. For those who did not make the grade for selection in the medical colleges of the country, hundreds go outside the country to study medicine who have to appear in the initiation examinations conducted in the country before beginning practice. As a matter of policy, what is now required for increasing medical graduates is ensuring the right incentive and financial support for students undergoing MBBS courses in various institutes inside and outside the country, while also enhancing the medical institutes in the state.
First published:19 Dec 2021, 10:03 pm