Monday, 18 May 2009

UK-based Hyderabad doctors to reform medical education in India

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: A group of Hyderabadi doctors based in the United Kingdom has taken up the challenge of reforming medical education and health services in India with the help of the Medical Council of India.
Following a presentation by the group, Association for Clinical Excellence, the MCI has agreed in principle to consider its suggestions at the MCI governing body meeting to be held in June. The ACE will submit a 15-page blueprint on reforms in medical education and health services which will be followed by a full-fledged report. If everything goes on well, the reforms process is all set to begin around September heralding India into a new phase of medical education and health system.
Though India is the biggest democratic nation in the world with over a billion people, there is no central body to issue clinical guidelines to doctors practising various super specialities, on the lines of the American College of Cardiologists or the Royal College of Surgeons. In the absence of nation-wide guidelines, different doctors even in the same hospital treat patients differently.
Surprisingly, India does not have the basic concepts of resuscitation or knowledge of evidence-based medicine. There is also no homogeneity (uniformity) of care.
"Doctors in India generally do not appreciate patients' rights. There is also lack of patient information system in the country. We do not have knowledge about audit and clinical governance as also about medical ethics," says Dr DV Nagarajan, who practices cardiology in Nottingham Deanery, UK.
Dr Nagarajan and cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Anil Kumar Mulpur gave a presentation before the MCI president and general secretary in New Delhi earlier this week. They regretted that important concepts about resuscitation and advanced life support and trauma life support are not taught to medical students in India.
"The concepts about basic life support, advanced life support, advanced trauma life support and advanced paediatric life support should be introduced both into undergraduate and postgraduate medical curriculum. These are life saving skills and every medical graduate should be familiar with these methods," they told this correspondent.
The ACE has volunteered to formulate a short curriculum incorporating concepts about evidence-based medicine and resuscitation, the two most important concepts taught in western medical schools which conspicuously absent in the Indian medical curriculum.

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