State plans extension of rural residency period

Speaking at the sidelines of the 65th National Conference on Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases on Monday, Medical Education Minister S A Ramdas said they intended to make an amendment to the existing law to ensure that primary health centres (PHC), taluk and district hospitals were sufficiently staffed with doctors.

“Right now, we have 4,250 doctors entering residency each year. We have also added 1,050 seats. By adding a year to the residency period, we can at least ensure that hospitals are staffed,” the minister said. The students will be provided a fellowship during the year and they will be serving six months at the PHCs, six months at the taluk hospitals and another six months at the district hospitals.

The minister will be attending a conference of health ministers of all the states on Wednesday to discuss issues pertaining to health and all India medical CET among others.
Ramdas hoped to put forth a proposal on the extension of rural residency period at the meeting to be adopted on an all India basis. "If there is no agreement on it, we will still go ahead with the amendment," the minister confirmed.

The minister also reiterated the stance of the government regarding the all India medical CET, saying they needed to get a clarification on three issues –– rural weightage, seat sharing with private universities and seat sharing with minority colleges. He however did not say whether the government would support the proposal if the matter was sorted out to government's satisfaction.

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