The proposed alternative model for undergraduate medical education to create a cadre of rural doctors will be discussed at a two-day workshop beginning here on Thursday.

The model, mooted by the Medical Council of India (MCI), is to tide over the shortage of trained manpower for rural health care. It envisages the creation of manpower for health care services in the ‘notified rural areas.’

The four-year course including internship has been titled ‘Bachelor of Rural Medicine and Surgery.’ It will be ‘institutional’ in character, conducted through medical schools which will be tagged with government hospitals in the districts where there are no medical colleges as of now.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Ketan Desai, president of the Council said the proposal will be discussed threadbare with 19 Vice-Chancellors of Health Sciences and deemed universities, deans and principals of all medical colleges, State health secretaries and directors of medical education, in addition to the officers of the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry.

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad will inaugurate the workshop.

If approved, the MCI proposes to start the course in August. The National Rural Health Mission has a provision of Rs. 20 crore for one medical school in a district where no such facility exists, Mr. Desai said.

The annual proposed intake for the course is 25 to 50 students and the teaching will be modular in character at all levels.

The eligibility for admission will be class XII from ‘notified rural areas’ of the district. Admission will be district-based and the services rendered by the graduates ‘State-based.’

The graduates will be registered by the State Medical Council concerned in a separate ‘schedule’ created exclusively for the purpose.

The registration will be on a ‘year-to-year’ basis for five years, renewable at the end of each year on an appropriate certification by the designated authority. Each medical school will be affiliated to an examining university which will confer a BRMS degree on students conforming to the disciplinary jurisdiction ‘Code of Medical Ethics’ notified by the MCI.