New Delhi: Delhi High Court has given the Centre and the Medical Council of India (MCI) six months to introduce a BSc (Community Health) course to prepare health workers who can practice modern medicine for treating common diseases in rural areas having no doctors, and warned that failure to do so would invite contempt proceedings.
Justice Manmohan issued the direction as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as well as the MCI, the apex regulatory body of doctors, had not acted upon their 2010 undertaking given to the court to introduce a three and a half year (three years of education and six months of internship) BSc (Community Health) course for creating healthcare workers and enabling them to provide primary healthcare in rural areas.
The High Court said the Centre should consider bringing a new law along with any other option that it may deem appropriate in this regard, reports The Statesman.
“In the opinion of this court, once the central government has undertaken to introduce the BSc Community Health course, it must take the lead and give the course a firm legal footing and introduce it in institutions and universities run by the central government and also provide help to state governments to introduce the same.
The court in its order also said that students who graduated in the course “have to be given a right to independently practice modern medicine to treat common diseases as identified in the curriculum to achieve the intent, purpose and objective behind the undertakings”.
“The Medical Council of India should also prepare the syllabi and curriculum for the bridge course as undertaken before the division bench,” the court said and listed the matter for hearing on March 9, 2016.
MCI had, in 2010, stated before the court that the students who applied for the said course would be under an obligation to serve in the rural areas for a period of five years and thereafter if they undertook a bridge course for two years and qualify, then they would be treated as equivalent to MBBS.