Chhattisgarh was the first State in the country to initiate the concept of rural health care providers in 2000. The scheme, however, had to be discontinued in 2004 due to a lack of employment opportunities.
Now, with opportunities available under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), the State is supporting the proposal of a Bachelor of Rural Medicine and Surgery (BRMS) course.
The Chhattisgarh government’s three-year diploma course in Practitioner in Modern and Holistic Medicine was started in 2000 to cater to the rural and inaccessible tribal population where health indicators were extremely poor.
The State started schools in Bastar, Bilaspur and Raipur where over 1,400 students were enrolled for the course. All 850 students who completed the course and internship have been employed on a contract basis as rural medical assistants. Their status is between that of a paramedic and a doctor.
While there were no takers for the degree in the private sector, the Medical Council of India (MCI) had also refused to recognise the course then. Now, even the MCI has come up with the initiative of granting BRMS degrees on the same lines.