Kolkata: Asking Health Secretary Narayan Swarup Nigam about the chances of having ‘Diploma Doctors’, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sparked a new arena of controversies and debates for the people. She asked the authorities whether there can be a diploma course in medicine or if they can initiate the process of starting a diploma course in medicine altogether.
To begin with, this comes as a solution to mitigate the problem of having extremely less doctors in the rural side of West Bengal. She stated the problem of a “shortfall” of doctors in the State. However, CM Banerjee went on to highlight how “the health department has many doctors and even professors who can conduct training sessions”. Right now, the doctors must finish their five-year course and then after practice, they can join in at different places as junior doctors. She suggested if “there could be diploma doctors to cover primary health centres, they would be good outcomes”.
To add on, she suggested that “senior nurses who are about to retire now” could be eligible to become ‘quasi-doctors’.
Citing this as a move that could affect the lives of the common people very seriously, the doctors and nurses including many medical students immediately opposed this. They argued that this would not solve the problem if it exists at all. The online community labelled this move as “stupid and illogical”. Although, it is not final whether there would be a chance of West Bengal having diploma doctors or quasi-doctors, CM Banerjee seemed optimistic that this would mitigate the problem of shortage of doctors in Bengal.