The rising incidence of cancer and a shortage of specialists has prompted the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to work on starting its own post-graduate course in oncology.
In a bid to get the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) approval for the course, Nair hospital is in the process of appointing one lecturer and one assistant professor and has promoted an associate professor to professor, to meet the medical body’s criteria of minimum teaching staff.
Currently, Tata Memorial hospital is the only government institute that offers a specialisation course in oncology for MBBS doctors. The hospital receives over 60,000 patients every year for treatment.
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The issue of limited number of specialists for cancer treatment was brought up at the latest health committee meeting in the BMC. “Our medical colleges have good courses in gynaecology and orthopaedics. But for oncology, we do not offer anything. The entire patients load goes to Tata for treatment,” said corporator Shubha Raul, member of the health committee.
At the meeting, a suggestion to facilitate the promotions of doctors — a pending demand — was made to help fill vacant posts of professors, assistant professors and lecturers in the oncology departments of BMC medical colleges. “The MCI approval will come only if we strengthen our teaching staff,” Raul said.
According to Dr R N Bharmal, dean, Nair hospital, an application would be submitted to the MCI after at least two newly sanctioned posts are filled up over the next few weeks.