ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Medical University:Failure and Opportunity

With the recent announcement delinking medical colleges from the newly-founded Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), an ill-planned exercise plagued by petty politics has come to a costly end. But this might just be the opportunity to create relevant training and educational resources for village/slum level health care through the MUHS and bring about a radical change in the health sector.

“Solomon Grundy.. born on Monday...died on Sunday" poem in my schoolbook. How could it be that a man, born one day, gets married the next day and dies in less than a week, I used to wonder. The poem came back to me after reading the news (The Indian Express, April 4, 2001) that the Maharashtra chief minister had announced the delinking of medical colleges from the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS). The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) on strike for several demands had included posthaste the scrapping of MUHS and delinking the medical colleges from MUHS. As of now most of the MARD demands have been accepted by the government and the only unmet demand is that of delinking of colleges from MUHS. The rationale behind this demand of delinking is that since MUHS is still not recognised by the Medical Council of India, the graduates will be barred from participating in opportunities outside the state.

The MUHS, shaped by the wishes of the previous health minister of the state, was established in 1997 to coordinate all medical colleges of all branches, nursing, and pharmacy under one roof. The policy was consistent with National Health Policy document and some states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh had already established such institutes. Notwithstanding the sorry experience of these institutions functioning in those states, the government of Maharashtra decided to establish one. Of late the state has awarded institutes to different cities, like the Sanskrit University to Nagpur. Nasik already has the Yashwantrao Chavan Open University and now the MUHS. The MUHS holds considerable powers regarding medical admissions to graduate and postgraduate degrees in all branches, the holding of examinations and recognising institutes for PG learning.

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