'Compulsory Medical Practice Act will be effected'

Rs 9 crore collected as fine from medicos

'Compulsory Medical Practice Act will be effected'

Owing to a tendency of MBBS graduates to skip practice in rural areas, the Compulsory Rural Practice Act will be ‘rigorously’ pursued, said Health and Family Welfare Minister, U T Khader here on Tuesday.

He was speaking at the Mysore division meeting of Health and Family Welfare Department, held at Zilla Panchayat premises. Earlier, speaking to the press, Khader said that Rs nine crore has been collected as fine from MBBS students who have completed graduation, but had declined to serve in rural areas.

As a measure to tackle the problem, Commissioner of Department of Health and Family Welfare, V B Patil suggested counselling MBBS graduates for rural service as soon as their examinations were completed. He also complained that the department was finding it hard to obtain a list of students who had completed MBBS, worsening the problem of doctors in rural areas.

Khader instructed officials to serve a notice to all medical colleges, seeking details of students. We will also co-ordinate with the Department of Medical Education in this regard, he said.

PHC problems

During the meeting, shortage of doctors affecting Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) was also discussed. It was learnt in the meeting that though 388 new doctors have been sanctioned for PHC’s around the State, many of them have left the service to pursue post graduation.

Principal Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Madan Gopal said that in PHC’s where less than 10 births per month were recorded, they should either be shifted or merged with nearby PHC’s.

It was also noted in the meeting that in coastal areas, even pregnancies were shifted to private hospitals, unlike in other districts, where PHC’s delivered the babies.
Less Expenditure

District Health Officials were rapped by Madan Gopal for under utilisation of National Rural Health Mission Funds. Madan Gopal informed the meeting that funds to the tune of Rs 5,200 crore were with the department. If it remains un-utilised by March 2014, the funds will go back to the Centre, he said.

He said that plan outlay of the department was increasing by 11 per cent every year. Along with ensuring expenditure of funds in health centres to provide medical facilities, officials should also ensure quality in works done by the department.

Transfer Council

Khader said that there were some problems faced by the department owing to transfer of doctors. The department has fixed a minimum tenure of three years for a doctor at one location.

Some doctors are forced to work in a place for more than ten years. Steps will be taken to change the transfer regulations of the department, he said.

Awards

Despite the shortcomings in the department, Madan Gopal informed the meeting that the department had bagged three first places in the national Best Practices Summit of the department. The department had won prizes for reducing under five mortality in the State, increasing institutionalised deliveries and increasing the number of out patients visiting government hospitals. Khader, during the meeting stressed on ‘brand image’ and ‘change management’ of the department, and making the hospitals more ‘people friendly’ by bringing about an attitudinal change among doctors.

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