Rural service of docs to be linked to KMC registration
The candidates completing undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses this year may have to serve in rural areas to get a permanent registration from Karnataka Medical Council (KMC), if Medical Education Minister A S Ramdas has his way.
Replying to a question by Ramanath Rai (Cong) in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, Ramdas said the draft bill seeking to make one-year rural service compulsory for MBBS and postgraduate medical doctors will be tabled in the ongoing Assembly session.
“If the legislation is enacted, 3,000 MBBS and 1,110 post-graduate doctors will have to work in rural areas. This will help overcome shortage of doctors in government hospitals in rural areas,” the minister said.
The rural service is made on a precondition to obtain permanent registration as practising doctors from the Karnataka Medical Council.
The draft legislation also proposes to impose a penalty on students of government medical colleges and those studying under government quota in private colleges, in case they do not opt to serve in rural areas after successful completion of their course. The quantum of penalty is yet to be specified.
Besides, in view of acute shortage of doctors to serve in rural areas, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has been planning to extend the duration of MBBS course to six-and-half years from the present five-and-half years with effect from 2013-14.
The proposed move is intended to introduce one-year rural posting, which would be linked to the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
Health Minister Aravind Limbavali said the government was examining the possibility of adopting the Andhra Pradesh model of imparting training to traditional medicine practitioners (nati vaidyas) so that they can provide basic and emergency healthcare to patients in rural areas.
Replying to a question by Srikanth Kulkarni, minister Limbavali said a team of officials had recently visited Andhra Pradesh to study the system.
There are an estimated 30,000 nati vaidyas in the State, he added.
Limbavali told the Council that the government is exploring the option of reintroducing Integrated Medicine Course in Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences.
Replying to a question by a host of Opposition members, the minister said he had held a meeting with Ayush doctors on July 20, and that the matter was under consideration.
He said that his department was aware that Ayush doctors were prescribing allopathic medicines for emergency cases. There are over a lakh doctors in the State, of whom 45,746 practise Ayush systems of medicine.
The Integrated Medicine course would help Ayush doctors get some knowledge of the allopathic stream.
Opposing the idea, MLC M R Hulinayakar said this was not a State subject and that the matter should be referred to the apex bodies.
Congress’ Member of Legislative Council M R Seetharam said that the course should be introduced after holding consultations with the Medical and Dental Councils.