NEW DELHI: The Indian medical education system could be in for a radical revamp if the Narendra Modi-led NDAgovernment agrees with its newly-appointed advisors. A group of experts, set up by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, is in favour of a three-pronged strategy — common entrance examination, compulsory exit test for medical graduates and mandatory renewal of medical licences for doctors — to improve the quality of healthcare in the country.
In other words, if this committee were to have its way, medical aspirants will have to take only one entrance test to seek admission in any college; MBBS graduates will have to pass a compulsory screening test for permanent registration with the MCI; and doctors will have to keep updating their knowledge and skills to hold on to their licences and continue with their practice.
The three ideas were "discussed and accepted" at the second meeting of the group of experts, headed by renowned clinical pharmacologist Ranjit Roy Choudhury, this week. If the proposals find favour with the new government, then they could be introduced through amendments in the Indian Medical Council Act.
Explaining the rationale behind the proposed reforms, a source in the expert panel told ET, "The only way we can strive for quality healthcare in the country is by ensuring that the intake in educational institutions is of a certain standard; young doctors joining the profession have minimum competencies and existing medical practitioners keep up with advancements in medicine." The proposed reforms are not entirely new.
The UPA government, for instance, had tried its best to introduce a common entrance test for all medical aspirants, but couldn't as the apex court shot it down last year. In the past, there have also been attempts to implement the nationallevel exit test for medical graduates and compulsory renewal of medical licences.