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60000 PG medical seats : Good Quality Health care Made in India

By Dr Lokesh Edara MD,USA

The National Medical Commission bill is right around the corner and it will usher us into the new world of healthcare and medical education which is essentially MCI free. However there is still a long way to go when it comes to getting a PG seat easily. Medical students have to study day and night for getting their desired branch but despite the hard work only a few make it through. Perhaps what is needed is for us  is to learn from some of the western countries like USA which are providing seats to their medical graduates and accommodating those from other countries as well.

Statistics suggest that USA has 27000 Medical gradutes(MBBS) seats as opposed to 32000 Post graduate seats. The extra seats accommodate medical students from around the world. In comparison, India has more than two times the MBBS seats at 67000 but still manages lesser clinical Post graduate seats at 27000 which include Pathology. When we add another 10000 foreign medical students from neighbouring countries like China and Nepal who come back to our country this figure seems even more trivial. This translates into a problem for not just the medical students but also for the country. In USA an average doctor sees 25-30 patients per day where as in India an average MD medicine sees 100+ patients in a day compromising healthcare delivery. India needs not just more doctors but also more specialist doctors which are a distant reality. Part of the problem lies in the fact that most of the doctors in India are trained in Government hospitals and medical colleges where as in USA all beds in private hospitals are utilized for training as well as teaching. The idea is that a good physician, patient load, good NBHI type certified hospital with good equipment and insurance certification are allowed to train and run residency programmes in the US. However in India, only the government hospitals are allowed to run post graduate degree courses, except DNB which is akin to residency programmes of US but has received a lot of scrutiny from MCI which vehemently opposes it. Such a scenario must end because to satisfy the growing needs of this powerfull nation we will need a 1:1 MBBS to PG ratio.

For example in Baroda medical college there are 200 MBBS seats and a same number is needed in PG to justify the needs. However MCI doesn’t allow the same and brings in an arbitrary concept of a teaching hospital which goes against the doctrine of medicine that was once famously stated by William Osler “medical education at its best begins with the patient, continues with the patient, and ends with the patient.” When patients are also going to Private Doctors and taking their opinion, why can’t that infrastructure be utilized for training and education? If Baroda medical college has 1000 beds, the private hospitals in the vicinity have close to 2000 beds which can be utilized for training and increasing the MBBS: PG seat ratio to 1:1.  These could be DNB Seats or MDs can undergo rotation in Private hospitals and come back to college for lectures, making the best of both worlds.

This can be done in all 400 medical colleges and can lead to a tremendous increase in PG seats. More over these seat increase needs to be more for certain specialties like General medicine and Family medicine which are generally the first point of contact of patients. For every 100 MBBS seats there should be at least 30% general medicine seats and another 15% family medicine seats. Thus India need a total of 18000 and 10000 more General Medicine and Family medicine PG seats  and these additional PGs can foster us into a revolution of healthcare in India. 

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Also Read : Best hospitals For DNB : Award winning hospitals 2017

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