New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked
the Centre to make its stand clear on a plea that a short-term
course on primary health was required to allow non-MBBS
persons to practise medicine in rural areas.
A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Madan B Lokur
and Justice Mukta Gupta directed the Centre to file a detailed
affidavit specifying whether government has accepted the
recommendations given by the Central Council for Health and
the Task Force which recommended a three-year course for
The Medical Council of India(MCI) told the court that it
has not accepted all the recommendations of the Task Force and
will file an affidavit in this regard.
The Bench was hearing a PIL, filed by one Meenakshi Gautam
through counsel Prashant Bhushan, seeking to decriminalise the
practise of medicine by non-MBBS persons.
Bhushan sought a direction to the government to introduce
a short-term course for training healthcare workers so that
shortage of doctors in rural areas could be removed.
The petitioner pleaded the Indian Medical Council Act,
which provides for one-year imprisonment for practising
medicine by non-MBBS persons, should be amended.
According to the Act, only a MBBS qualified person can
practice medicine and prescribe a scheduled drug. The Act has
obstructed the development of mid-level health practitioners
who can deliver family health care, the petitioner added.
The petitioner`s counsel argued that the government
should be directed to provide a three-year course to health
workers while treating people in rural areas.