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Showing posts from June, 2016

FMGE to be scrapped, DNB likely to continue

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There’s good news for Indian medical students who study abroad and want to practice in India. The Centre has decided to do away with the mandatory screening test — the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE), a pre-requisite to start medical practice in India. Instead, these students will have to appear in the NEET, which will be a single entrance exam for those wanting to practice in India after earning an MBBS degree abroad and for those wanting to pursue post-graduate courses.
The NEET is expected to replace the FMGE by the next academic year. Senior government officials said that after introducing NEET (the single entrance test for students seeking MBBS degrees) from this year, the scrapping of FMGE was another attempt to help students who otherwise have to take multiple exams.
While replying to a query on DNB, Dr. Bipin Batra, Executive Director, NBE said: "DNB admissions will continue in July and January sessions respectively."

140 medical colleges, 14000 additional seats in 5 years

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In its bid to improve tertiary and secondary care in rural areas, the government is mulling scaling up its existing scheme of upgrading district hospitals into medical colleges by adding 80-100 more districts within the ambit of the existing scheme. As per the proposal, in the next five years, 140 new medical colleges and an additional 14000 medical seats will be created. For the 400 districts that do not have medical colleges, the government has at present started with the upgradation of district hospitals in 58 districts which are situated in deficit states like UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Odisha, MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Haryana. Preference is being given to district hospitals/referral hospitals with bed strengths of 200 or more, districts where there are no medical colleges, and under-served areas. The government is now contemplating to add 80-100 more districts. With the cost for each medical college that will be upgraded pegged at Rs 250 crore – with a Cent…

NITI Aayog recommends replacing MCI with medical education commission

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The Medical Council of India, often in the news for controversial approvals and corruption, is set to be replaced by a medical education commission that will have three independent wings to oversee curriculum, accreditation of colleges and medical ethics.
The new commission could be run by eminent persons from the medical field, who will be allowed to continue their professional commitments as the Niti Aayog panel that framed the guidelines felt this would ensure a wider talent pool. 

The scandal-hit MCI will be a thing of past as the panel, headed by Niti Aayog chairperson Arvind Panagariya, has sought a detailed overhaul of the medical education regulator that aims to bridge shortages of skilled health workers and address a major hurdle in meeting growing quality healthcare needs. 
The proposed commission will be an umbrella organisation at the top with a mandate to regulate and monitor medical education and practices and the division of responsibilities is intended to ensure more resp…

30 extra berths in Bengal med PG, but without MCI nod

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West Bengal University of Health Sciences plans to admit 30 additional students for two postgraduate courses - Diploma in Gynaecology and Obstetrics (DGO) and Diploma in Child Health (DCH). However, these additional seats are not recognized by the Medical Council of India (MCI).Chittaranjan Seva Sadan will get 10 extra students each in the DGO and DCH courses, while the DCH course in B C Roy Hospital with get the remaining 10.

PG Times had reported on June 18 that as many as 35 postgraduate medical seats, including MD and MS seats, are lying vacant this year because students who had initially taken admission had switched to institutes outside Bengal. Thus this year there is going to be a serious crisis of post graduate trainees in the state's teaching hospitals, as these 35 seats will be vacant. Now to fill up the vacancy in the teaching hospitals WBUHS has decided to go for additional 10 seats of DGO and 20 additional seats of DCH.
WBUHS controller of examinations K P Sinha said th…

NEET-PG FAQs answered by NBE director

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Q1) Will the state of Andhra Pradesh be contributing its medical PG seats to central pool and can the medical graduates of Andhra Pradesh be allowed to take seats outside Andhra Pradesh? State of Andhra Pradesh has a special status (continued forward after bifurcation of states of Andhra and Telangana) wherein the state(s) do not contribute to the All India Quota 50% pool and the medical graduates of the State accordingly cannot participate in the All India Quota.
Q2) Is there state quota in NEET-PG? NEET-PG is a common qualifying and ranking examination.  Each owner of the seat whether state quota or private universities or institutions shall continue to prepare their merit lit based on the eligibility criteria.  The existing state quota remains undisturbed.
Q3) Please confirm whether while counseling, private institutes shall disclose their course fees? It is obligatory for all institutions to disclose their course fees.
Q4)Will there be any management seats in NEET counseling? As per…

NEET is a much-needed reform in medical education — Dr Bipin Batra

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Prof (Dr) Bipin Batra is an eminent radiologist and executive director of the National Board of Examinations (NBE), the body entrusted with conducting the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to postgraduate courses in medical and dental colleges across the country. In an exclusive interview, Dr Batra talks about NBE, DNB and NEET.

We know you as executive director of the National Board of Examinations. Please tell us about the path that led you here and your experience along the way. I am a radiologist with passion for education, excellence and quest for learning. I have been fortunate to work with the doyens in the field of radiology, medical education, student assessment, accreditation and public health. Each of these leaders has left a lasting impression on my abilities to be a physician with passion for care, compassion, manage change for good and innovate for the betterment of medical education ultimately leading to improved health outcomes. I am glad to have…

Govt stress on preventing diabetes, fighting cancer

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Concerned over the rising cases of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like cancer, diabetes and even mental disorders in India, the health ministry has kick-started some key initiatives to promote preventive care to arrest the trend.
"Prevention of diseases will always remain in the forefront, whether for communicable or non-communicable diseases, and awareness regarding a balanced lifestyle and healthy living is a crucial pillar in combating non-communicable diseases," health minister JP Nadda said, launching the initiatives.
The programmes include detailed guidelines for screening of such diseases like cancer, diabetes and hypertension. The ministry has also launched a dedicated awareness campaign to educate people about preventive measures and benefits of exercise, healthy eating and a balanced lifestyle.
According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) assessment, an estimated 60 per cent of all deaths in India are due to non-communicable diseases. Cardiovascular diseases al…

Push for yoga

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The discipline needs to be promoted as a non-sectarian wellness initiative Marking the second International Yoga Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done well to highlight the non-sectarian character of yoga. Emphasising that yoga wasn’t religious in nature, he asserted that the traditional practice was even meant for atheists. Moreover, he described yoga as an instrument that provided health assurance with zero spending. A mass movement that promotes yoga can be one way of following the dictum that prevention of ill health is better than cure. The discipline can and should be used to tackle lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Promoting yoga as a wellness discipline rather than as a religious practice is the key to popularising it even more, even if it leaves Hindutva proponents dissastisfied. There’s no denying that yoga has spread far and wide across the globe. This is precisely why 177 countries had supported the UN resolution proclaiming June 21 as International Day …

Doctors on board for NUJS medico-legal course

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The National University of Juridical sciences (NUJS), in a first in the country, is all set to start a course to address medico-legal issues, which are largely a grey area at present. Legal experts and doctors will teach in the course that will be conducted jointly with the Dillons Kidney Foundation, a philanthropic platform for doctors. 

The one-year course - Postgraduate Diploma in Public Healthcare and Medical Laws - will start from July. While both theory and practical classes will be held according to set modules on the NUJS campus, a lot of study material is also being prepared on which students have to work and do their own research. The modules have jointly been prepared by NUJS faculty, selected faculty from the National Law School, Bangalore, and top doctors from a range of fields from the city.

The National Law School Bangalore and Symbiosis are two other institutions have something similar but the NUJS course is more inclusive. "We have gone a step further and included …

Radiologists in Maharashtra on strike over PNDT Act

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On Monday, radiologists across the state, including Mumbai, will join their Pune counterparts on an indefinite strike to protest "harsh implementation" of the Pre-Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PC-PNDT) Act. The Act criminalises use of medical technology like ultrasound to find out the gender of an unborn baby. No ultrasound scans will be available at roughly 2,000 clinics in the state. However, x-ray, CT, MRI, Cath Labs are exempt from the stir. "No stand-alone clinic will offer ultrasonography scans from Monday,'' said Dr Jignesh Thakker of Maharashtra State Branch of the Indian Radiological & Imaging Association (MSBIRIA). These scans will however be available for patients going to public hospitals as well to in-patients of private hospitals. "We are planning a protest meeting at Azad Maidan on Wednesday and will decide to intensify the stir thereafter,'' he added. The indefinite strike began in Pune on June 14, with rad…

35 much-in-demand PG medical seats go vacant

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A chunk of postgraduate medical seats, which are fought over tooth-and-nail, have gone abegging in Bengal this year because many MD MS students who took admission decided to opt for other states. There are many candidates who did not make the initial cut and could fill up these seats, but the government did not have a backup plan to accommodate the waitlisted ones.As many as 35 seats, including two in the coveted MS surgery stream, are going vacant. The wastage of PG medical seats is a serious setback at a time when Bengal hospitals are grappling with lack of specialized doctors. “It's a huge loss, which cannot be equated in monetary terms,“ said VC of West Bengal University of Health Sciences (WBUHS), Dr Bhabotosh Biswas.
The cut-off date for admission to postgraduation was May 31. The government did not plan for an eventuality where those who had taken admission would prefer studying elsewhere. Now, there is no time to hold another counselling session, so there is a high possib…

Health ministry directs MCI to ease norms for allowing new medical colleges

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The Union health ministry has directed the Medical Council of India (MCI) to ease norms to set up new medical colleges in private sector across the country. With this directive, it can be said that the government has opened the doors for the private companies to enter the field of medical education.

Earlier only the state or central government along with reputed trusts and registered societies were allowed to run the medical colleges. However, with the new directive it will allow any profit making corporate house as well as leading private hospitals and pharmaceutical companies to come forward and open medical colleges across the country.

Earlier the private hospitals and corporate pharmaceutical manufacturers who are only aimed at making profits were not allowed to venture in to medical education sector as they were bound by a clause of providing free healthcare seeking no profits. This clause is the main reason for not many to establish the medical colleges as is the case with the est…

Abolish NEET, urges Stalin

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DMK treasurer and Opposition leader in the Assembly M.K. Stalin on Tuesday urged the State government to adopt a resolution in the Assembly to dispense with the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) for admission in medical colleges.
In a statement here, Mr. Stalin said that the ordinance promulgated by the Centre had provided temporary relief to the students in the country and it would not be a permanent solution.
“The State government should unanimously adopt a resolution urging the Centre to cancel the NEET after holding a proper debate in the Assembly,” he said.
DMK treasurer MK Stalin today urged Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to get a resolution passed in the state Assembly to prevail upon the Centre to ensure that there is no entrance examination for medical admissions in Tamil Nadu.

He was referring to Centre's ordinance that exempted state government medical colleges from the Supreme Court-mandated single All India entrance examination for a year.
"A resolution shou…

What India needs to do in Medical Education

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Guest article by Dr. MG Deo.Dr Deo was a Professor of Pathology at the AIIMS, New Delhi and between 1978-95, Director, Cancer Research Institute (Tata Memorial Centre), Mumbai. In 1990, the GOI bestowed on me the prestigious civilian award of Padmashree.
India faces a huge shortage of specialists and super-specialists and not of basic MBBS doctors to meet the challenges posed by the changing health scenario. Both urban and rural sectors are affected. In the next fifteen years, non-communicable disorders (NCDs) will be the dominant health burden. Control of these disorders needs specialists and super-specialists, as an ordinary MBBS is not trained to handle NCDs. Also our rural health system is facing acute shortage specialists. Eighty per cent posts of the specialists (Physician, Surgeon, Pediatrician and Gynecologist) in Community Health Centers (CHCs), the first contact point of a villager with a specialist, are lying vacant. On the other hand, shortage of basic MBBS doctors has bee…

AIIMS researchers working on orally-administered Hepatitis B

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Researchers at AIIMS have developed nanoparticles loaded with antigen protein segments which, if yield positive results on human trials, could lead to what they claim to be first oral hepatitis B vaccine in the world. According to Dr Amit Dhinda, Professor of Pathology at the All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS), who led the research, if all goes well, the oral vaccine would become a reality by 2021, doing away the need for injections and booster doses which are administered by way of syringes. The new technology has been tested on mice and during the study, superior antibody response with higher antigen levels were observed beyond two months after single administration. "Two months in mice is equivalent to nine to 10 years in human beings. The current practice of immunisation against hepatitis-B are injectable vaccines and require two boosters, the first after one month and the second after six months," said Dhinda. To create these nanoparticles, scientists have use…