Condemning the idea of bridge courses and mid-level practitioners, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has demanded an answer from the Indian Government for not generating enough posting in the wellness centres for Undergraduate medical professionals.

Dr Santanu Sen, president, IMA declared that there is no shortage of doctors in the country and around 63,250 students passed the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) courses from 494 medical colleges of India but the fact cannot be denied that there are only 23,729 post graduate seats. The ground reality remains the same that the government does not have the capacity to absorb rest of them.

Every year the unemployment among young medical graduates is a cause of great concern. Give the graduate doctors the first priority instead of giving to dentists, physicians, optometrists, pharmacists and others,” said Dr Sen.

Dr Sen added that, “Every allied profession to medicine have a unique identity and serves a specific purpose. Dentists, nurses, optometrists and pharmacists have a specific role and they should contribute in the respective fields only. These ad hoc postings are unacceptable and it is just exploitation of young graduates. Prevent this mess, because by making the mid-level medical practitioners undergo a six months bridge course is basically throwing the safety of the patients to the winds. It can endanger their lives”.

Dr. R. V. Asokan, General Secretary said that “We oppose any bridge course. Our stand is that MBBS is the basic qualification to practise modern medicine. We would want to quote Bhore committee report of 1946. IMA would be able to help the government to staff 1, 50,000 wellness centres with MBBS graduates if the government is willing to take in regular Government services“.

He even informed that, “National Action Committee meeting will be held on 11th of May in Delhi. Presidents of all states will be present. After the meeting we will finalise the plan of action“.

In a statement the IMA condemned the idea of bridge courses and mid-level practitioners. They have threatened to go on strike or take other action if such practices are allowed. NITI Aayog, along with the Health Ministry, is mulling a proposal to allow dentists to practice family medicine or mainstream medicine. The idea of a bridge course is under consideration of the officials, which will create mid-level health providers.