PIB News 31st Oct, 2020

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

Jan Andolan against Covid-19 gains traction in Ayush Sector
With thousands of Ayush professionals joining the Jan Andolan against Covid 19, the movement has gained considerable traction in the traditional systems of medicine. The movement is covering Ayush dispensaries, hospitals, educational institutions, wellness centres and other units. Ayush professionals work closely with the public at the grass root level, and hence they have been successful in adding momentum to the campaign by influencing public behaviour during this awareness campaign.

It was seen in a review done at AYUSH Ministry that during the 5 days period from 26th to 30th October 2020, Ayush stake-holders reached out to an estimated110 lakh people with messages propounding Covid  19-appropriate behaviours, through channels ranging from face-to-face communication to digital media. The ongoing festival season poses public health challenges as people tend to drop caution in the spirit of the festivals, increasing the risk of spread of the pandemic. It is expected that the interventions of the Ayush professionals will add to the efforts to encourage people across the country to adopt COVID appropriate behaviours.

Partnerships forged by the Ministry of AYUSH through its attached and subordinate offices with the private sector industry and academia have been successful in roping in many stake-holders into this activity.  Ayush Directorates in States and UTs with Ayush dispensaries supported by the National Ayush Mission of Ministry of AYUSH under them have together served as a major network for spreading the instant behavioural change communication.  The Health Secretaries of many States/UTs have also initiated campaigns aligned with these messages.

The different Ayush units (Ayush dispensaries, hospitals, educational institutions etc.) together put up nearly 5000 posters and 8000 banners with customised messages in different institutions in different States and UTs during this 5-day period. These included standard messages on “wearing mask, washing hands and keeping physical distance” as well as targeted messages on Ayush immunity practices and relevant Yogasanas.

This 5-day period also saw nearly 200 newspaper articles being published thanks to the efforts of Ayush stake-holders, and nearly 300 print advertisements issued. Further, as part of the patient-education efforts, nearly 3 lakh pamphlets and brochures were distributed. A few institutions also brought out e-newsletters. The network of about 750 Ayush Medical Colleges with their communities of students and teachers have been particularly active in this effort. 

The five-day period also saw the Ayush institutions sending out nearly 200 Social Media messages on the subject collectively, reaching an estimated 5 lakh people. Talks and news items on health awareness and Covid appropriate behaviour figured on TV and radio on 78 occasions during this period. Thousands of people were reached through the different webinars organised on the subject by Ayush institutions.

Some institutions took up high-value promotional activities like distribution of medicinal plants, Ayur Raksha Kits, masks and prophylactic medicines. Nearly 9 lakh beneficiaries received these in different States. Demonstrations to OPD patients and inhabitants of 'AYUSH Gram's regarding the way to wear mask properly, method of hand washing and appropriate food habits to strengthen immunity were held at multiple places, and keenly attended. A few institutions also organised lectures on topics relating to appropriate ways of conducting oneself in crowded places.                                                                                                                                                  The other activities included awareness camps, workshops, lectures, pledge-taking, Yoga demonstrations and health camps.


(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

Major step towards Medical Education reform
National Medical Commission notifies “Minimum Requirements for Annual MBBS Admissions Regulations (2020)”

In a significant step towards affordable medical education, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has notified its first major regulation. Titled as “Minimum Requirements For Annual MBBS Admissions Regulations (2020)”, the notification issued today replaces the “Minimum Standard Requirements for Medical Colleges, 1999 (for 50/100/150/200/250 Annual Admissions)” of the erstwhile Medical Council of India (MCI).

The new Regulation shall be applicable to all new medical colleges proposing to be established, and to the established medical colleges proposing to increase their annual MBBS intake from the academic year 2021-22. During the transitory period, the established medical colleges will be governed by the relevant regulations existing prior to the current notification.

The new standards have been defined keeping the functional requirements of the institution(s). These allow optimization and flexibility in utilizing available resources, and harnessing modern educational technology tools to facilitate moving towards quality education, even when resources are relatively scarce.

The key changes:

The new Regulation has deleted the quantum of land required for setting up a medical college and its affiliated teaching hospitals (all buildings are expected to conform to existing building bye-laws). The notification defines the minimum requirements of space for all student centric areas in the institution and the functional areas required. The Standards outlines the sharing of all available teaching spaces by all departments (compared to the inflexibility in the regulations so far) thereby mandating all teaching spaces to be enabled for e-learning and also digitally linked to one another (it was only desirable earlier).

Under the new Regulation, a well-equipped “Skills Laboratory” for training students is essential now. It also defines a Medical Education Unit for training medical teachers in educational pedagogy. The space required for Library and the number of books and journals have been rationalized and reduced. Student counselling services has been mandated recognizing the increasing stress observed amongst medical students and residents in recent times. 

Recognizing that a well-functioning hospital is at the core of medical training, the new regulation now mandates the availability of a fully functional 300 bed multi-speciality hospital for at least 2 years at the time of application for establishing a new medical college (the earlier regulations did not specify the period of functionality). The beds required in the various departments of the teaching hospital have been rationalized to align with the annual student intake, teaching time to be spent in the clinical specialties and the minimum clinical material required for undergraduate medical training which has resulted in about 10% reduction in teaching bed needs compared to the earlier regulations.

The human resource of teaching faculty has also been rationalized in the new Regulation. Over and above the minimum prescribed faculty, provision for “visiting faculty” has been made to enhance quality of training.

Two new teaching departments have now become mandatory in all medical college hospitals for the training of undergraduate medical students. These include the Department of Emergency Medicine (which has replaced the earlier Casualty Department) and will ensure access and prompt, appropriate response to emergencies particularly trauma; and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation which shall fill a large gap for those in need of comprehensive rehabilitative care.

The Regulation has also outlined “desirable” and “aspirational” goals beyond the minimum requirements stated in the standards so as to stimulate medical institutions to strive for excellence. These elements will be utilized by the National Medical Commission while rating the medical institutions in the country.




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