MMCRI waiting for permission from Medical Council of India to start the course

The Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMCRI) has got approval from the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), Bangalore, to introduce a postgraduate course in psychiatry from the academic year 2013-14.

Now, it is waiting for permission from the Medical Council of India (MCI), New Delhi, to start the course. A team from MCI is expected to inspect the facilities available for psychiatric care at MMCRI’s attached hospital, K.R. Hospital, here. This could take place this month, MMCRI director Geetha Avadhani told The Hindu.

Diploma

Besides the postgraduate course, permission was also sought for introducing a diploma in psychiatric medicine, she said.

“We are hopeful of getting the MCI permission for two MD (Psychiatry) seats and three diploma seats. The intake may go up in later years,” she said.

Facilities

MMCRI has four psychiatrists — one professor, two assistant professors and a senior assistant — and a dedicated psychiatric ward.

The institute is keen to increase bed strength to at least 200, but space is a constraint. A proposal had been sent to the State government seeking its nod for expanding the psychiatric ward with an additional floor to accommodate more beds, establish a de-addiction centre, emergency psychiatric care and other necessary facilities. “We are awaiting the reply,” Dr. Avadhani said.

Shortage?

According to Karnataka State Mental Health Task Force, there are around 250 psychiatrists, 200 clinical psychologists and the same number of psychiatric social workers in Karnataka. Independent surveys have indicated that 14 per cent of the general population in Karnataka needs mental health services. However, not more than 50 psychiatrists (30 MD and 20 DPM) are trained in the State, psychiatrist K.A. Ashok Pai had said during his recent visit to Mysore.

Dr. Avadhani expressed hope that more opportunities for higher studies in psychiatric care would help address the manpower shortage in the sector to an extent.

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