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The Delhi High Court Thursday directed the Medical Council of India (MCI) to finalise within six weeks the curriculum for starting a three-and-half years course for non-MBBS physicians to practise medicine in rural health centres.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher said that on failing to finalise the curriculum of Bachelor of Rural Health Care (BRHC), the MCI secretary shall remain personally present during the next hearing Oct 18.

Filing a contempt petition, petitioner Meenakshi Gautam said that on Nov 10, 2010, the court ordered the MCI to start by March 2011 the BRHC course but no action was taken.

Senior counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Gautam, complained that the delay in starting the course was leading to a serious situation where people in rural areas were being deprived of healthcare facilities.

The central government submitted before the court that it was ready to start the course, but was still waiting for the MCI to finalise the curriculum.

The petition said: “The court had given the MCI two months’ time to finalise the curriculum and syllabus of the primary healthcare practitioner course…A further period of two months was given to the ministry of health and family welfare for the enforcement of the same.”

“The Medical Council of India apparently opposed the course in 2011 and was not willing to notify it,” the petition alleged.

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