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IMA slams idea of 'Bridge Course' for dentists

IMA slams idea of Bridge Course for dentists

Kolkata: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has condemned the idea of 'Bridge Course' to create cadres of mid-level health practitioners by allowing dentists to practice mainstream medicine in various health centres.

Niti Aayog, along with the health ministry, is examining a proposal to introduce Bridge Course for the dentists so that they can be used as mid-level health providers in various health centres across the state, particularly where there is a crisis of MBBS doctors.

Dr Santanu Sen, national president of IMA, declared that there is no shortage of doctors in the country. "Around 63,250 MBBS graduates come out of 494 medical colleges in the country. But India has only 23,729 post graduate seats," Dr Sen said.

"The fact remains that the government does not have the capacity to absorb the rest of them. Every year the unemployment among young

medical graduates is a great cause of concern. The frustration of these youngsters with an undergraduate degree has to be addressed first," he added.

Condemning the idea of mid-level practitioners, IMA secretary general Dr RV Asokan said the government's attempt to provide half baked medical care to the citizens through mid-level practitioners is dangerous.

"The government should give permanent posting to MBBS graduates in 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres. Ad Hoc postings are not acceptable," he said.

It may be mentioned here that a meeting on this proposal is scheduled to be held at Niti Aayog on April 22.

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