In a major boost to medical education and patient-care here, J&K has received approval for nine new DNB (Diplomate of National Board) courses in its medical colleges, the intake effective from the upcoming academic session. Four of these courses will be started in the newly established medical colleges here.

For the first time, a postgraduate medical course will be started in the newly established medical colleges of J&K. As per the approval letters, GMC Anantnag can now offer DNB Dermatology; DNB Community Medicine and Paediatrics will be started in GMC Kathua; and GMC Rajouri has the go-ahead for DNM Orthopaedics. Four of the nine DNB Courses approved for J&K will be in the newly established medical colleges.

Earlier this year, the union ministry of health and family welfare announced that DNB Qualification has been equated with MD/MS and DM/MCh. The move, it said, was meant to address the faculty shortage in many states.

The Ministry said that J&K has 568 postgraduate medical seats across its nine medical colleges. However, five of these medical colleges are new and did not have a postgraduate course.

The other approvals that have been received are DNB Hospital administration and Psychiatry in GMC Jammu. This is also the first time GMC Jammu or any medical college in Jammu division will have a psychiatry postgraduate course.

Many doctors in J&K have welcomed the move terming it an important step towards addressing the mental health issues better.

SKIMS Medical College Bemina has received approval for DNB in Anatomy and Physiology, to address the faculty shortage that many new and upcoming medical colleges have been facing.

Government of India has made it “mandatory for all medical colleges to start PG courses within 3 years from the date of their MBBS recognition /continuation of recognition”. It has allowed Medical Colleges to apply for PG courses in clinical subjects at the time of 4th renewal “to advance the process for starting PG courses by more than 1 year”.

Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education Atal Dulloo while expressing satisfaction with the advancement of avenues for higher education in J&K said more DNB course approvals were expected in coming weeks. “We are working on getting more seats and this will help us serve patients better in future with a better strength of doctors,” he said.

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