Appreciating and recognising the role of Corona warriors in combating Covid-19, a Parliamentary panel has joined the bandwagon of country’s doctors calling for the creation of an Indian Medical Services (IMS) on the lines of All India Civil Services such as IAS and IPS for the implementation of flagship programmes related to health.
The “moment is the golden opportunity to explore the possibility of organizing Indian Medical Services … The Committee feels that Indian Medical Services would provide efficient healthcare managers to enhance the success rate of healthcare projects and make policy programmes and specific course of action for fighting against lethal disease,” said Parliamentary Committee headed by Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Verma.
The Parliamentary panel’s views in its report submitted in Parliament recently are in consonance to the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and The Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) demand for setting up such exclusive Service “to bring about a drastic change in the healthcare sector.”
The IMS will be responsible for holding the administrative responsibilities pertaining to the district medical officer, project officers of various disease control programmes, and the various ranks of secretaries in the Union health ministry and the state health departments and the heads all other areas in the health sector, Dr Rajan Sharma, the then IMA national president had said in a letter last year in July.
The basic qualification to sit for the IMS examination should be MBBS, he had said. Similarly, the FORDA too had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding a separate cadre for healthcare professionals in view of “situation arising out of the coronavirus pandemic that had stressed the need for improving the healthcare infrastructure in the nation beginning from the grassroots.”
The creation of the IMS cadre has become more relevant in the times of coronavirus, whereby doctors from various specialities can devise effective strategies for controlling the epidemic and improving the overall healthcare system in the future, the federation said.
“Healthcare systems demand thorough knowledge of the domain. Knowledge of subject specialists (doctors) in devising policies is essential for galvanising the healthcare system of the nation,” it said.
The Health Survey and Planning Committee (also known as Mudaliar Committee) had recommended the formation of a central health cadre in its report in 1961, it said.