Kolkata: The recent proposal to introduce a 3- years diploma in medicine by the West Bengal's CM, Mamata Banerjee has created a lot of controversies about the course.
According to Dr Tirthankar Guha Thakurata, a faculty-member with KPC Medical College & Hospital, West Bengal has already seen instances of mushrooming of private nursing colleges.
"Even if for argument's sake I agree that the proposed three-year diploma in medicine will solve the problem of lack of enough doctors at the primary health centers in the rural areas of West Bengal, the question remains about the quality training that these diploma doctors will have during the three-year course. Who will be the teaching faculty in the institutes offering diplomas in medicine? Who will guarantee the quality of education and training in these institutes? So I personally apprehend mushrooming of institutes whose products would never be capable of treating and healing people," he told IANS.
The city-based acclaimed doctor of general medicine, Dr Arindam Biswas said that he is strongly against this proposal for diploma doctors on two grounds.
He says, "First, this is a short-cut and short-term solution to address the problem in the critical healthcare sector, where there is no guarantee of quality education and training."
He added, "Secondly, why only the primary health centres in rural West Bengal be chosen for this experiment? This is a clear case of discrimination between rural and urban healthcare systems. Finally, what will be the authorised body that will ensure the quality of education in the institutes offering such diploma courses in medicine. Even during the previous Left Front regime there was a somewhat similar proposal which was rejected outright," said Dr Biswas while speaking to IANS.
City- based acclaimed maxillofacial surgeon Dr Srijon Mukherjee told IANS that introduction of this diploma courses in medicine is only possible if there is a watertight system for checks and balances.
"First, only candidates completing higher secondary in science stream with 60 per cent marks should only be eligible for getting admission for such diploma courses. Secondly, there should be an appropriate body who will be responsible for providing accreditation to institutes offering such diploma courses. Finally, certain areas of treatment should be restricted for such diploma doctors and there should be a proper monitoring system so that they do not cross the line under any circumstance. Now the question is whether there is a proper system and infrastructure to ensure all these conditions," Mukherjee said.
Medical administrator Deepak Sarkar said that he smells a similar scam in the area of medical diploma as it has happened in the case of mushrooming B.Ed. and D.El.Ed colleges in general education.
"I do not know what will be the fate of the patients in the hands of diploma doctors. But surely the institutes offering such diplomas will be yet another medium of minting money for vested interest groups," he said.