Manmohan Singh backs health ministry on medical education

New Delhi, Oct 1, 2010 (Calcutta Tube) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday said the heath ministry’s proposed bill for a separate council to look after medical education in India will be introduced in parliament soon, putting an end to its turf war with the human resource development ministry.

‘National Council for Human Resource in Health will be formed soon,’ the prime minister said while addressing the 38th Convocation of All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the national capital.

Health Secretary Sujatha Rao said: ‘Health education will remain with the health ministry, and the consultations for the bill are on.’

The turf war started when the HRD ministry proposed that the medical education be brought under the ambit of its National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) while the health ministry proposed a separate National Council for Human Resource in Health (NCHRH).

At this the health ministry voiced its concerns, maintaining that medical education needed to remain with it since it is a specialised field.

While the health ministry looked enthused over the prime minister’s backing, a deadline for bringing the bill was not given.

‘It is as per the president’s address to the joint session. The prime minister also announced it on Independence Day. We are now working on the bill and it will be ready soon,’ Rao said.

According to sources, the prime minister has been backing a separate council for health education since the beginning. The issue was first mentioned by Manmohan Singh in his Independence Day speech when he announced separate councils for higher education and health.

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