Amid Coronavirus-inflicted pandemic, the central government decided to revive postgraduate diploma courses for medical graduates observing a dearth of specialist doctors in district hospitals.
Intended candidates can pursue the PG Diploma courses after clearing NEET-PG once they complete MBBS degree.
Receiving recognition from Medical Council of India (MCI) for 8 such courses facilitated by National Board of Examinations (NBE), this will be an essential move in reaching out medical services to remote corners of the country.
NBE which is predominantly an autonomous body operating under Ministry of Health has ventured out eight specialised courses namely: paediatrics, family medicine, anesthesiology, ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynaecology, radiodiagnosis, ENT and tuberculosis, and chest disease.
Earlier in 2019, MCI converted PG Diploma courses to degree courses to overcome the deficiency of teaching faculty. As per NBE officials, considering the void created due to cancellation of Diplomas, the centre has asked NBE to incorporate these courses in curriculum sooner.
Professor Pawanindra Lal, Executive Director, NBE, said, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, the weakness and shortcomings of primary and secondary healthcare delivery system became obvious, thereby putting an extra burden on tertiary care health centres with medical colleges being converted into dedicated COVID care and treatment centres.
It was, therefore, imperative to augment the hospitals catering to the population in rural, semi-urban areas, and tier-two and tier-three cities.”
Subsequently, on consultation with NITI Ayogi, MCI and Ministry of Health ensured the diploma courses be launched in effect from August 20, 2020. As per the first schedule of Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, PG Diploma courses by NBE are approved by Union Ministry of Health.
NBE executive director believes specialisation in anesthesiology, family medicine, tuberculosis and chest disease will provide trained staffs to handle epidemics or common diseases within a geographic barrier of the community.
Additionally, diploma courses in paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology can improve the efficacy of healthcare services for reproductive and child care. This can be a breakthrough measure towards reducing maternal and neonatal mortality rates in the country.
How the PG Diploma in Medicine to be in effect?
As per MCI regulations, out of the total seats allocated for availing PG Diploma courses in a district hospital, 50% of it will be reserved for in-service candidates of the state.
Hospitals facilitated with at least 100 operational beds will be eligible to seek recognition with National Board of Examinations (NBE) for teaching diploma courses.
Moreover, as per MCI, students can get admission into Diploma courses after they appear in NEET PG exams. The courses are launched from August 20, 2020.