Rural stint to fetch docs rewards


Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said here on Friday that doctors with MBBS degrees who serve in the rural areas for three years will be allotted 30 per cent more marks in the National Entrance Examination (NEE).

Quota in diploma

Besides, doctors who fail to get a diploma seat, even though they have served three years in the hinterland, will be given 50 per cent reservation for diploma in MD.

Azad’s proposals come in the wake of the acute shortage of doctors that the Centre is faced with in implementing the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

Although NRHM is  a milestone that the UPA government has achieved, the mission is facing a number of problems due to the lack of doctors.

“To reduce the gap in health facilities in the rural and urban areas and to encourage doctors to work in villages, any MBBS doctor who will work in the rural areas for one year will get 10 per cent and those for two years 20 per cent marks, respectively, in NEE,” Azad said. The new scheme will be applicable for freshers who choose to enter medical education. 

Azad said the shortage of doctors could be gauged from the fact that there was just one doctor for every 1,600 patients, where as the actual ratio should be one doctor for every 500 patients. Of the 300 medical colleges in the country, 150 colleges were in the private sector, with 80-85 per cent of the colleges located in south India, mainly in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

He said private hospitals have a total of 12,22,000 beds, compared to only five lakh beds in government hospitals. “Of the 12-13 lakh doctors, 60 per cent of them leave the country to work abroad. We wish to make certain changes in the Medical Council of India rules to retain them and their services,” Azad said.

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