- Point out the major limitations in medical education.
- Suggest some key remedial measures.
India deals with serious shortage of medical professionals, which is a major impediment for achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. Fixing the problems in the medical industry is crucial to the health and well-being of a country.
Some of the major limitations in Indian medical education system are mentioned as below:
- The number of medical colleges in India are way too lessthan required. For example, only 89,875 out of 1.6 million students who appeared in NEET-2021, were selected for 596 medical colleges in the country.
- India is also lacking in providingadequate quality faculty, which will be a hinderance in case number of seats are increased.
- Fees structure in the private medical colleges is not affordable leading to inequities in medical education.
- There has been mushrooming of poor quality colleges which lack proper infrastructure, and trained faculty at the postgraduate level.
- Methods of education are still not updated with advances in e-learning including digital dissections and remote learning.
Remedial Measures to strengthen medical education in India:
In order to effectively address these challenges, our health systems must be strengthened. Some of the suggested remedial measures are :
- Government should increase the healthcare spending to 5% of the GDP as envisaged by Economic Survey 2020-21.
- Increase the number of medical colleges, especially in states that have a low number of seats with MBBS Courses. It can bring in uniformity of access across states and fill the demand-supply gap.
- Common classrooms must be created by virtually linking medical colleges with more prevalent use of technology, to share some of the faculty where there is considerable faculty shortage.
- State governments must financially assist in transformation of district hospitals with added nursing colleges and allied health professional training centers to create a multi-layered, multi-skilled health workforce.
- Pushing for reforms like Restructuring medical licensing systems, ranking medical colleges, and standardizing entry requirements at medical schools across the country are all essential reforms under the NMC.