Thursday, December 4, 2014

International Day of Persons with Disabilities (#IDPD)

On Int'l Day of Ppl with Disabilities (#IDPD), TOI covers my plea to include disability education into medical curriculum.

As per WRD, people with disabilities are TWICE as likely to find health care provider skills and equipment inadequate to meet their needs; THREE times as likely to be denied care; and FOUR times as likely to be treated badly by health care providers. 

The new introduction by the UN of the ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health) and the legal obligation as we have ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [UN CRPD 2006, Article 25 (d)] provides an impetus to re-ground disability medical education on the social model rather medical model. It has been shown that introduction of short disability courses appears to change medical students association of depersonalized or negative words with disability.

Office of Chief Commissioner for Disabilities has already instructed MCI that “doctors not trained on rehabilitation should restrict their treatment of children with disabilities to their medical illness/disease or else action be initiated against such practices under relevant section of MCI.

Competencies and guidelines to assist Indian doctors in caring for patients with disabilities have yet to be established, thus making educational goals unclear. This becomes of utmost importance as the ‘Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill’ includes 19 disabilities. The new curriculum therefore should involve people with disabilities and educational strategies must use standardized patients with disabilities rather than non-disabled feigning disability. A number of medical schools abroad have acknowledged the expertise that people with disabilities can bring to medical education by including them as teachers.

Regulation 1.9 of Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics), Regulations, 2002 states that , “The physician shall observe the laws of the country and observe the provisions of the State Acts like Mental Health Act, 1987; PwD Act 1995. 

Read the full TOI report here.

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