Family medicine department at medical college seeks new lease of life


MD course may lose approval if a 30-bed ward is not set up

The department of family medicine at Government Medical College, Kozhikode, is yet to find its feet even seven-and-a-half years after it was launched to promote the concept of family health. It does not have permanent faculty and an outpatient ward. The three-year MD course offered there is likely to lose its approval if the facilities are not improved.

The objective of the department was to set up a network of trained family physicians, who are also clinicians competent in multiple areas. They should be well-prepared to provide person-centred and community-centred medical services irrespective of age and gender, which is also cost effective. The MD course in family medicine, a first for a government medical college in the country, too was launched in 2012 here.

However, the Kerala Public Service Commission is yet to appoint permanent faculty to the department. Right now, an emeritus professor, a professor transferred from another department on deputation, and a temporary assistant professor are the only staffers there, apart from junior and senior resident doctors. There are no nurses or paramedical staff.

Though the Medical Council of India (MCI) stipulates a 30-bed ward to approve the MD course, the inspecting team was reportedly shown the facility attached to the general medicine department. Now, the department has requested an increase in intake from two seats to seven seats, and an MCI team is expected to inspect the college by July next. Sources pointed out that the existing course would be de-recognised if urgent steps were not taken to improve the situation. There has not been any response to the umpteen number of memorandums and requests sent to the authorities highlighting the issues.

A former professor at the medical college told The Hindu on Monday that the concept of family medicine had been neglected mainly due to resistance from a section of doctors practising general medicine.

Doctors trained in family medicine are expected to work at primary health centres and community health centres and address the needs of the community surrounding them. Those practising general medicine come at the next level, and medical colleges are supposed to function as referral units. However, general medicine doctors are apprehensive that strengthening a system around family medicine will hit their private practice, a senior doctor said.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 5:18:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/family-medicine-dept-at-medical-college-seeks-new-lease-of-life/article30143245.ece

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