1 Mar :President Pratibha Patil has said that medical interns should be sent to villages for their training and that the satisfaction of seeing a patient improving "far outweighs the value of money that can be earned".
"A very important aspect of medical education is the internship phase. I have always emphasised on sending medical interns to our villages as part of their training.
"This would make them aware of the needs in rural areas and hopefully motivate them to work there, once they see the need for their services in those areas," Patil said in her address at the Platinum Jubilee celebration of the Medical Council of India at New Delhi on Sunday.
She said, "The medical profession is a noble profession. The satisfaction of seeing a patient improving far outweighs the value of money that can be earned."
Patil also said the country needs more doctors and medical institutes to make healthcare affordable.Giving out statistics in this regard, she said about 31,000 medical graduates pass out of 271 medical colleges in the country every year and pointed out that as per Planning Commission estimates, India is short of six lakh doctors and 10 lakh nurses.
"This has led to a doctor to patient ratio of about one is to ten thousand. Such low ratios also do not make medical care affordable," Patil said.The President further said, "The shortage is more pronounced in our rural communities as majority of the doctors live and practice in cities. There must be deliberation on why this is happening and what could be the solutions.
"We need many more doctors and many more medical institutions. Augmentation of medical institutions in the country is one of the important first steps to overcome shortages."
Saying that 11th Five Year Plan aims to establish 60 medical colleges and 225 new nursing and other colleges in deficit states, she said, "However, quantity on its own will not be enough."
She said a quality based model of medical education with appropriately inbuilt checks and balances is necessary.Patil also said Indian systems of medicine which are a part of our heritage and should be protected.
She said the Ministry of Health is working on laying down standards of pharmacopeia for ayurvedic medicines."While encouraging this, I would also call on the Medical Council to see how a course of traditional Indian medicines can be introduced in the Medical curricula," Patil said.
Patil also called upon Medical Council to harness information and communication technology in its workings and set up a database of doctors, to whom a citizen can access as per his or her convenience.
"For example, the Indian Medical Register can be useful in informing a patient whether the doctor being consulted holds recognized medical qualifications or is registered with the Council. This database should be regularly updated and made user-friendly. People should be made aware of it, so that they can guard against being exploited by "quacks".
She also said, MCI can think of pro-actively guiding students who are considering pursuing medical studies abroad by opening special windows where they can be informed on matters like equivalence of foreign degrees.