Health Ministry may keep medical education to itself

Health Ministry appears to have won the tussle that it had with HRD Ministry over controlling medical education.

An indication to this effect was today given by Health Minister Ghulam Navi Azad after a meeting of top officials of Ministries of Health and HRD.

"It is not possible to bring all aspects of higher education under one overarching body. It will create chaos only," Azad told reporters.

Higher Education Secretary Vibha Puri Das and officials of HRD Ministry today met Health Secretary Sujatha Rao and discussed the proposal to set up National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) as an overarching body in higher education.

A task force, set up by the HRD Ministry to prepare the draft NCHER Bill, has favoured bringing health education under the ambit of the proposed regulatory body.

"We have so many bodies like Nursing Council, Dental Council, Pharmacy Council, Council for Unani and Ayurveda. To bring them under one body is not possible. Health and HRD are totally different subjects," Azad said.

He said the Health Ministry is working for creation of National Council for Human Resource in Health (NCHRH) which will look after all aspects of health education.

Health Secretary Rao also completely ruled out shifting of health education from the domain of Health Ministry.

"There is no question (of health education being transferred to HRD). Medical science cannot be divorced from actual health policy," Rao said after the meeting.

She said the Health Ministry has also set up a task force for NCHRH which will meet with members of the task force of HRD Ministry to discuss the issues related to general education and health education.

"Such a situation should not arise that the both the proposed bodies are not in alignment. We have to ensure that both the bodies are not working for cross purposes," Rao said.

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