In a move that could bring drastic changes in the medical sector, government’s Think tank Niti Ayog has agreed to the proposal of the Dental Council of India which had sought to allow dentists to practice as general physicians after a bridge course.
The proposal was in the backdrop of the call by the Prime Minister’s office to explore unconventional methods to address the shortage of doctors in the country, particularly in rural areas. According to a proposal sent to the Medical Council of India last year, it sought to introduce a bridge course of 3 years post Bachelor of Dental Science (BDS). The admission would be either through a common entrance exam or through cumulative marks secured in the BDS course, or even a combination. The syllabus curriculum, scheme of examination, method of evaluation, degrees and registration all these criteria will be the same as recommended for MBBS. But the IMA opposed the Proposal mentioning that the figures that 63,250 MBBS graduates come out of 494 medical colleges every year and India has only 23,729 post-graduate seats. Unemployment among medical graduates is a cause for concern. The IMA has called the policy has flawed.