NEW SYLLABUS TO SENSITISE MBBS STUDENTS ABOUT GENDER EQUALITY

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By Vicky Pathare

DMER to now include chapters in curriculum to raise awareness on rights of transgenders, women and men

Amid burgeoning incidents of gender discrimination cropping up across the country, the state Director of Medical Education and Research (DMER) has taken a hugely positive step in the direction of raising awareness about gender equality, initiating a bid to educate the medical fraternity about the rights of transgenders, women and men.

Now, changes will be made in the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) syllabus in Maharashtra to include chapters on gender equality in the medical studies curriculum. This new study material will be applicable from the assessment year 2018, and embedded in the first, second and third year MBBS syllabi.

A few months ago, the Medical Council of India (MCI) had requested the Government of India (GoI) to include gender education in the medical curriculum, in an attempt to avoid discrimination by doctors while providing healthcare facilities to the public. Interestingly, the government had also recommended the same concept to the DMER a few years ago.

In the latest development, the state DMER — through the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik — has written to the Centre, stating that gender equality studies will henceforth be a part of the syllabus here. DMER Dr Pravin Shingare told Mirror, “The changes in the syllabus will instruct doctors to look at and treat all patients as human beings, and not discriminate on the basis of gender for treatment. All men, women and transgenders must have equal rights. There have been cases in the past in which it has been highlighted that due to a lack of gender education, cases of discrimination came up — this is why MCI requested that the necessary changes be made.”

Adding that all discrimination is unjust, and that no patients should be deprived of their rights on the basis of gender while getting treatment, Shingare added, “This move is being made to sensitise the medical fraternity about gender rights. There have been so many cases of women unable to conceive who are being pressured to do so — they should get all the support they need. Or, for instance, there are cases of transgender individuals getting discriminated against during the course of treatment. Their rights will be a definite point of focus in the new syllabus.”

Lauding the initiative, well-known transgender rights activist Lakshmi Tripathi said, “This is a a welcome move indeed and we are proud that the government took the effort to write to the MCI to make such changes. This comes soon after a landmark verdict by the Supreme Court and an expert committee of the social justice ministry suggesting such efforts. It is very necessary that the healthcare fraternity get sensitised about the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. In a country like India, where people have so much to say about gender rights and severely lack when it comes to implementation, this is a good step in the right direction.”

There have been cases in the past in which it was seen that due to lack of gender education, cases of discrimination came up — this is why MCI requested that changes be made — Dr Pravin Shingare, DMER, Maharashtra

Source: Pune Mirror

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