ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Overlooking Public Health Education

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The paper by Sobin George and Mohan Rao, Barriers to Establishing a Dedicated Public Health Cadre: Reflections from the South Indian States (EPW, 28 January 2023) mentions the generalised empathy towards masters of public health (MPH) degree holders because the majority of them come from backgrounds other than clinical medicine. The authors brought out the important problem of the restricted options that are available to people with masters degrees in public health. This letter aims to bring attention to the manner in which the public health system treats MPH graduates who do not have a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree and are looking for work.

In the document titled Public Health Management Cadre: Guidelines for Implementation, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare places restrictions on the responsibilities that the non-clinical MPH holders can play, limiting them to 70% of the health management cadre. All three of the other components of the public health cadre were accessible to the clinical faculties. This places restrictions on the role that those with MPH but not MBBS degree can play in the implementation of public health programmes. The same document covers increments and special compensation for in-service doctors, in addition to a higher pay scale for the specialist cadre; nevertheless, it barely touches the career growth and pay structure for the public health management cadre. It would indicate that they are of the opinion that this cadre ought to be used as a hired, low-wage labour force for the implementation of various public health programmes. Even the teaching cadre suggested adhering to the recommendations made by the National Medicine Council (NMC).

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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