Port Blair, Sept 03: Mr. Kuldeep Rai Sharma, Member of Parliament, A&N Islands has requested Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India, New Delhi to consider for granting recognition to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Institute of Medical Sciences (ANIIMS ) to start Postgraduate medical courses in various disciplines of medicine and surgery from the forthcoming session of 2021-2022 since the Medical College at Port Blair shall be sending out it’s first batch of the qualified Undergraduate MBBS Doctors in the month of January – February 2021.
In this regard, Mr. Sharma, MP informed the Minister that the A&N Islands Institute of Medical Sciences (ANIIMS) at Port Blair shall be sending out it’s first batch of the qualified Undergraduate MBBS Doctors in the month of January – February 2021 which will certainly fill the deficiency of doctors in the Islands in terms of providing primary healthcare to the Islanders. However for providing Secondary and Tertiary healthcare to the populace of Andaman and Nicobar Islands at the Community Health Centers and District Hospitals, the pressing need of Specialized Doctors / Consultants will still exists for various obvious reasons enumerated below which can be overcome by opening of Post Graduate courses in various disciplines of medical science in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Institute of Medical Sciences at Port Blair.
(1). SHORTAGE OF MEDICAL SPECIALISTS :
With the establishment of medical college and it’s involvement with the G B Pant Hospital , Port Blair as a teaching hospital, significant improvement is observed in the level of healthcare provided to the Islanders. However, still the G B Pant Hospital at Port Blair remains the lone referral hospital to provide secondary medical care to patients from North, Middle, and South Andaman as well as from the Nicobar groups of Islands. The Community Health Centers and District Hospitals located in the District of Middle & North Andaman and at Nicobar District are devoid of proper and efficient healthcare facilities due to non availability of Medical Specialists in these Hospitals. It is sad to learn that the Directorate of Health Services which has an overall sanctioned posts of around 45 medical specialists in different field medicine and surgery specialty is having even less than 50% posts filed on regular basis through UPSC. In order to overcome the shortage of Medical Specialists, efforts are being made by the Andaman and Nicobar Administration to employ Medical Specialists from other States of India on contractual basis by paying monthly remuneration to the extent of ₹2.5 lakhs to ₹2.75 lakhs which is much higher than the monthly salary of the Medical Specialists/Consultant appointed on regular basis through UPSC, but to the agony of the people of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Medical Specialists still doesn’t prefer to come to Andaman and Nicobar Islands to serve in different parts of these Islands due to difficult living conditions and remoteness of these Islands with the mainland of India and the medical specialists who are working in ANIIMS as teaching faculties on gaining experience prefer to move out of Islands in pursuit of better future prospects in mainland or in their home State.
(2). REFERRAL OF PATIENTS TO HOSPITALS AT MAINLAND :
Non availability or lack of Medical Specialists particularly in the Community Health Centers and District Hospitals located at various Islands other than Port Blair, prevents early and proper diagnosis of the disease at its initial stage which subsequently escalates and very often leads to referral of patients to the Hospitals at mainland by the Directorate of Health Services for specialised treatment but at very advanced stage of disease thereby risking the life of patients beside involving huge expenditure on treatment which is even beyond the reach of even common middle class Islanders.
(3). RESERVATION POLICY FOR POSTGRADUATE MD/ MS COURSES :
From the human resource development point of view and considering the legitimate right of the Undergraduate Doctors who shall be passing out from the medical college of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the MP said that as per the prevailing Medical Council of India(MCI) reservation policy for the Postgraduate Courses of medical science viz. MD and MS done through NEET- PG, 50 percent of seats in State Medical Colleges are reserved for the Undergraduate Doctors passing out from respective State’s Medical Colleges and remaining 50 percent seats from the State/UT Medical Colleges goes to All India Quota(AIQ) pool which are filled through NEET PG examination from amongst the Undergraduate Doctors from all States and Union Territories of India as per the central reservation policy. Since Andaman and Nicobar Islands do not have its own Medical College having Postgraduate courses, the Undergraduate (MBBS ) doctors who shall be passing out from the Medical College of Andaman and Nicobar Islands from session 2020-21 onwards will losing out the benefits of State reservation quota and will have to compete for the All India Quota pool of 50 percent seats reserved for postgraduate (MD/MS) courses which will definately put our Undergraduate ( MBBS) doctors in a disadvantageous position when compared to Undergraduate (MBBS) Doctors of such States who are having Medical Colleges with Postgraduate courses as they have the dual opportunities of having admission through State Quota as well as All India Quota for postgraduate (MD/MS) Courses.
(4). GOVERMENT COMMITMENT ON IMPROVING HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE THROUGH OUT THE NATION:
As we know India is falling short of Doctor to Patient ratio of 1:1000 (Allopathy) as recommended by the WHO and our Islands is no exception. However, in a bid to address the shortage of Medical professionals and to bridge up the gap, your good Ministry is make all efforts by increasing the number of Undergraduate medical seats and Postgraduate medical seats in various disciplines of medicine and surgery in different medical Colleges of India. In order to bridging the gap of Doctor to Patient ratio and to overcome the shortage of Medical Specialists, the Board of Governors vested with power of the Medical Council of India functioning under the aegis of the Health Ministry has recently given its approval to increase 4807 seats of Postgraduate medical (broad speciality) courses in 2020-21 session.
Therefore, such being the need of having more qualified Medical Specialists in the country and in view of the dire need of the Medical Specialists/ Consultants of different discipline of Medicine and Surgery in Andaman and Nicobar Islands as highlighted above, the Member of Parliament has requested Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India to consider for granting recognition to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Institute of Medical Sciences (ANIIMS ) to start Postgraduate medical courses in various disciplines of medicine and surgery to start the same by the forthcoming session 2021-2022 in the larger interest of the Islanders.