Indian doctors who have completed postgraduate courses in English-speaking countries such as the U.S., the U.K., New Zealand, Australia and Canada, who were earlier allowed to teach in India, will soon also be able to practise in the country.
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad, speaking after inaugurating the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) medical college attached to the Rajajinagar ESIC hospital here on Saturday — the first of its kind in the country — said that this was among the many steps to tackle the severe shortage of specialists in the country.
The Minister said this would require an amendment to the laws, which would soon be pushed through. He said shortage of doctors was acute in all parts, barring southern and western India, which affected even important national health schemes.
The government had liberalised many conditions in setting up medical colleges — including land requirement, retirement age of teaching faculty and the ratio between PG seats and faculty — in a bid to reduce investment costs and allow more entrepreneurs to start them.
“Eighty per cent of private medical colleges are located in south India,” he said.
Union Minister for Labour M. Mallikarjun Kharge said that projects involving public good such as setting up of hospitals and medical colleges should be cleared through a single-window agency to avoid delay in implementation.
Project proposals were being held up in various departments for months, leading to cost escalation, he said. The Central university in Gulbarga was yet to get water connection despite the promise by Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai, he pointed out.
“Development work should not be held up in the name of transparency,” he said, adding that officials were refusing to take any action fearing RTI queries. Officials should be asked to clear projects within a time frame or face action, he added.
He said that more ESIC medical hospitals on the lines of the one inaugurated on Saturday would be opened throughout the country, provided the Medical Council of India gave permission. “We can start four such in the next year,” he said.