India lacks national strategy on medical education, says a report

The medical education in India is catering to more urban centres while rural areas face neglect, according to a report prepared by Public Health Foundation of India

GN Bureau | March 15, 2014




As India faces acute shortage of health-care professionals a new report suggests the country doesn’t even have a separate national strategy for public health professional education. “There is no official and regular national forum for effective coordination between ministry of education and ministry of health with regards to masters level education in public health,” says the India report on health professional education, prepared by Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).

The report also highlights that the country hasn’t stated competency frameworks of health professionals in the country. “System based learning and competency based learning are not widely practiced in medical schools,” the report observes.

While we cry about health professionals not reaching to the rural India, the report finds that majority of the medical schools are located in urban centres and half of them inside the capital city of the state. “The 381 medical colleges are unevenly distributed, with more colleges situated in southern and western parts of the country,” the report adds.

It also says that the allopathic physicians are highly concentrated in urban (13.34) compared to rural (3.28) areas.

Another factor which the report notes is on big imbalance in distribution of nursing schools. “Majority of the nursing schools are located in urban areas and around half of them in the capital city of the state,” says the report.

“In the absence of a single national council governing human resources for health, reforms in admission policy and procedures are not identical or synergetic across various health professions, says the report and it recommends that medical and nursing schools should proactively engaged in reforms. “Create a dedicated expert group to advance the agenda of competency-driven education for health professionals in the country,” the report suggests.

Read the report

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