According to family physicians West Bengal is going all out to bring to life the vanishing breed of doctors.
Mamta Banerjee, chief minister of the state is all set to announce a two year diploma course in family medicine in order to make sure that there are adequate family physicians for everyone in the state.
Mamta Banerjee will be arriving in London for her three day maiden visit to United Kingdom on Sunday night along with a strong delegation of sixty members from the government, industry and arts.
Malay Kumar De who is the principal secretary of health department of the state will be signing a memorandum of understanding commonly known as MOU with Royal College of General Practitioners also known as RCGP in order to roll out the course.
As per the interview, Professor Maureen Baker, chairmen of RCGP said that The Royal College of GPs is about to sign a memorandum of agreement with the Institute of Health and Family Welfare of West Bengal also known as IHFW on 27th July 2015. He also stated that they have been associated with work in West Bengal since 2012 and have already managed to pilot a fellowship of a year in family medicine. After the new proposed agreement this one year fellowship will be converted into a new two year diploma. They were also very pleased by the enthusiasm and encouragement shown by the IHFW in supporting the respective venture and their dedication for a noble cause of promoting primary care globally.
He further explained that "The College is committed to maintaining standards of patient care both in the UK and abroad, so we are delighted to be working with IHFW to continue to support the development of primary healthcare in India. Building a strong primary care network in India is part of our international strategy over the next 10 years. This partnership will give us the Opportunity to promote the considerable benefits of family medicine both to wider healthcare systems and patients".
He also added that "The first step in developing strong family medicine is to train physicians how to be a good family doctor and we look forward to sharing our knowledge and expertise in order to make this happen."
India has witnessed an enormous rush in the students who go for medical courses to become “specialists”, and as a result the cadre of family physicians which was once the backbone of India will soon disappear now.
Bengal is doing everything possible to bring back the cadre of family physicians in the forefront of basic and primary healthcare. The steering health committee has also been laying pressure on the health ministry to endorse family medicine.
According to a report “family medicine discipline needs to be introduced in all medical colleges so that they can effectively manage most of medical problems encountered at primary level, and referral to specialists occurs only when necessary."
Most of the family physicians were MBBS doctors by now.
Dr. K Srinath Reddy who is a president of Public Health Foundation of India had earlier stated that the family medicine is an important and required discipline. The mad rush for specialization in various streams has restrained doctors of the ability to witness individual as a whole person and a family as a whole unit. The necessity and requirement of family physicians is large which also involves a broad range of clinical competencies.
American Academy of Family Physicians defines this as “medical specialty that integrates the biological, clinical and behavioral sciences. The scope of family medicine encompasses all ages — both sexes — each organ system and every disease entity."
A one year fellowship in family medicine was initiated by West Bengal in 2013 – 2014 for students with MBBS degree in a technical collaboration with RCGP. The respective fellowship was awarded jointly by the University of Health Sciences in West Bengal and RCGP. The fellowship covered anesthology, critical care medicine, trauma care, pediatrics, neonatology and orthopaedics.