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Doctors to continue medical education: Ramadoss

July 07, 2006 02:06 IST
Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Anbumani Ramadoss said the government will introduce at an early date a system making it mandatory for doctors in the country to refresh their education every five years.

"We are going to start Continuing Medical Education, mandatory in the US for renewal of medical licenses, long overdue in India," Dr Ramadoss said, while inaugurating the 24th annual convention of the Association of American Physicians of Indian origin at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.

"In fact, all the doctors will, every five years, have to re-register themselves after undergoing 60 hours of CME," he said, while calling on the assembled physicians to come to India and enlighten the medical establishment about the latest trends.

The minister also announced that the government would soon enact the Clinical Establishment Act, "...whereby all hospitals and all diagnostics in India will have to be registered, and are going to be optionally accredited according to the facilities and services they have."

The idea, he said, was to standardise health care and introduce quality consciousness.

Updating the AAPI membership about the status of health care in India, Ramadoss said the biggest drawback was the urban-rural divide. "We are trying to bridge this gap, and this year we are spending about $2 billion on the National Rural Health Mission Program alone."

He said the main thrust of this program was to bring down the infant mortality rate, maternity mortality rate and total fertility rate, and that to do this there was a proliferation of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and other such institutions, and that six tertiary institutes had been set up this year in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Orissa.

In course of his June 26-July 2 US visit, Dr Ramadoss traveled to Washington DC where he met his counterpart, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt.

The minister signed three Memorandums of Understanding, on the renewal of cooperation on HIV/AIDS, Maternal and Child Health, and Environmental and Occupational Health.

He delivered a lecture on 'Control of HIV/AIDS in India' at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and discussed issues relating to the establishment of an Institute of Public Health in India with the Provost, Dr Steven Knapp, and faculty of Johns Hopkins.

Ramadoss also met with Dr Elias Zerhouni, Director, National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda and also Dr Roger Glass, Director of the Fogarty International Center at NIH. The minister visited the National Cancer Institute during his stay.

Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC and Atlanta