Plans for launching a short-term bachelor of medicine course on Friday drew flak from NHRC and Indian Medical Association who feared that the move might produce quacks.

“By doing so (launching the course), the government will itself be producing quacks. We already have half-baked medical professionals in rural areas and if government also starts producing such half-baked doctors what will happen to the country?” NHRC member P.C. Sharma posed at a meeting of state health secretaries here.

The Union Health Ministry is contemplating to launch a three and half year course named ‘Bachelor of Rural Medicine and Surgery’ (BRMS) course for students of rural areas to raise a dedicated corps of medical practitioners who would serve in the villages.

Mr. Sharma termed the government’s plan of launching the course as “discriminatory in approach” and said that by doing so, “perhaps we will be accepting that they (people in rural areas) are not entitled to the same level of treatment as is available elsewhere.”

He suggested that government should “rethink” over its plan.

Sharing a similar view, V.N. Sharma of IMA said both rural and urban patients should get equal treatment so far as medical facility is concerned, as health is a Constitutional right.

“We are opposed to the government’s plan of launching a short-term course for raising medical practitioners in rural areas. It is totally unacceptable,.” he said.