This report is a major milestone towards development of family medicine based services as well as human resource in India. Over a period of coming few months it will be actively working towards implementations of these recommendations.
National Health System Resource Centre
National Rural Health Mission
Ministry of Health of Family Welfare
Government of India
The importance of Family Physicians as providers of a comprehensive primary care is a very significant development required for India’s progress towards Universal Health Care. The second phase of NRHM and the goals set by 12th plan for India have also kept primary care as its central agenda. India is now all the more willing to learn from its own experience and international success stories in this regard. The development of a comprehensive Family Medicine programme for India is a key intervention required for its success.
The increasing demand for specialists and super specialists has marginalized the policy directions in the National Health Policy 2002 to strengthen the Family Medicine programme in India. Lack of recognition of these courses by the statutory bodies, especially Medical Council of India, has contributed to this weakness as well. The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) supported a Post Graduate Diploma programme in Family Medicine (PGDFM), and is offering support to doctors working with public health institutions, especially from the high focus states of India. However, the scale has not been significant to impact change. The programme run by National Board of Examination has also not yet been recognized as a specialization in either Government appointments or in teaching institutions.
Strengthening the Family Medicine programme in India requires a multi-pronged approach. The National Consultation on Family Medicine was an effort to bring all the current isolated experiences from various parts of India, and the stakeholders entrusted with licensing, and policy makers together to deliberate on 5 key themes; Skills requirement of a Family Medicine doctor / Nurse at secondary care level; Family Medicine in undergraduate curriculum; Family Medicine in postgraduate curriculum; Family Medicine in Nursing, and Governance and Regulatory issues in Family Medicine. The consultation also reviewed and learnt from the inspiring experiences of family medicine and primary care practitioners from across the world. A special session also explored how the learnings will be able to address the challenges relating to family medicine practice in India.
The consultation made recommendations for all major stakeholders; Medical Council of India (MCI), Nursing Council of India (NCI), National Board of Examination (NBE), Central & State governments and Universities in India.
The consultation was held as part of the 1st National Conference on Family Medicine & Primary Care, at New Delhi.