The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has demanded the setting up of an Indian Medical Service (IMS), on the lines of Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Foreign Service, to bring about a drastic change in the healthcare sector, the doctors' body said.
The IMA feels that there is a dire need for a drastic change in health administration which can be realised by raising a new cadre of administrators, it said in a statement.
The IMS will be responsible for holding the administrative responsibilities pertaining to the district medical officer, project officers of various disease control programmes, and the various ranks of secretaries in the Union health ministry and the state health departments and the heads all other areas in the health sector, Dr Rajan Sharma, IMA national president, said.
The basic qualification to sit for the IMS examination should be MBBS, he said.
"Even though IMA has been enthusiastically working, we request the government of India to emphasize upon the certain major provisions.
"Meticulously continuing the public health activities of contact-tracing and testing will ensure a minimal morbidity rate," he said.
"There is an urgent need for a new post-COVID healthcare policy providing equal priority to non-COVID care as well," Sharma added.
Working closely with the central and the state governments during the pandemic, the IMA said it has been involved in various activities like availing of insurance for healthcare workers, anti-violence ordinance, inclusion of clinics, nursing homes and hospitals in MSME, modifications in testing policy, PPEs in work places, policy for quarantine of caregivers and plasma therapy among others.
Management of this pandemic would have been better had the public infrastructure and the strategies in place been better, it said.
"There is a dire need for the government to increase its GDP allocation to five per cent for the healthcare structure.
"The IMA also demands for creation of 'One Nation - One set of guidelines for health'," Dr R V Asokan, IMA secretary general, said.