In a survey conducted by APAC News Network, a whopping 74% gave a green signal for the establishment of Indian Medical Service (IMS) on the lines of IAS, IPS and IFS
T P Venu
New Delhi: APAC News Network conducted a survey through its social media handles on the need for a separate Indian Medical Service (IMS) on similar lines of the all India Civil Services. A majority of the respondents, 74% to be exact were of the opinion that IMS is even more relevant today with the Covid-19 pandemic effecting all. APAC News Network spoke to a cross-section of people who felt if there was ever a need for the creation of IMS cadre it is now.
While the debate on reforms in Indian bureaucracy has been making the rounds for long, the Prime Minister’s statement on January 17 this year at the council of ministers meeting where he hinted at reforms and spoke about transparency coupled with technology has once again brought back the focus on reforms in Indian bureaucracy.
Now the debate seems to be veering towards the creation of IMS. Gopi Arora, Group Editor, APAC News Network says, “Administrators, doctors, nurses and other health care workers are doing their best to combat this epidemic but the need to improve the nation’s health care infrastructure at the grassroots level needs an in-depth understanding of the field. Expert knowledge in policy matters is essential to harness the nation’s healthcare system.” He further added, “Specialists with adequate practical knowledge of the health sector could have handled the Covid-19 pandemic in a much better way, and devised effective strategies to control the spread of coronavirus. There comes a long-standing demand for setting up Indian Medical Service (IMS) Cadre in line with IAS, IPS, etc. at the earliest in best interest of the nation.”
Indian Medical Association (IMA) and The Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) have been demanding for IMS for long. Appreciating and recognising the role of doctors as corona warriors in combating Covid-19, the Parliamentary panel headed by Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Verma in its report tabled in Parliament noted that creation of such a cadre would be handy for the implementation of various flagship programmes of the government related to health.
In the past there have been half-hearted attempts, in 2017 the health ministry sent a circular to states seeking their views on the creation of IMS but there has been no progress. It is a well-known fact that most Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers are generalists, imagine if there was a IMS cadre where officers only from MMBS background were in charge of the healthcare system in the country. India would have coped far better with the current pandemic. An IMS could be the game changer.