Offer double salary to rural doctors, says IMA

Medical body suggests ways to get docs to villages

Government doctors deputed in rural areas should be given double the normal salary so that they do not turn down such offers, Indian Medical Association has proposed.

This is among the suggestions made by the IMA to the Centre recently.

It has recommended a salary package which is twice the normal salary as hardship allowance, “free decent accommodation” and adequate security for doctors posted in rural health centres.

They should also get 10 per cent extra marks in their postgraduate examination if they complete a year’s rural service.

“We learnt during a meeting with the government that there are currently 6,500 rural medical vacancies,” said Dr K K Aggarwal, Honorary Secretary General, IMA told reporters here on Thursday.

“For those who will complete the course, the medical body will issue a one-year-certificate of training in rural medicine for the students. This will help them boost their resumes,” said Dr Aggarwal.

More doctors should be deputed in rural areas so that crosspathy is not encouraged. Ayurvedic or Homeopathic doctors should not prescribe modern medicines in the absence of qualified doctors in the public health units. 

The IMA criticised the government’s decision to promote crosspathy and said it would only give licence to quacks.

“AYUSH practitioners can be promoted in their capacity. But the government should not allow them to practice modern medicine,” said IMA president Dr A Marthanda Pillai.

The IMA should also be more actively involved by the government in policy-making, he added.

If AYUSH doctors are allowed to practice modern system of medicine, it will also affect medical tourism, he said.

“We have also spoken to the Joint Commission International (JCI) and National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH). They have said that hospitals here will not be able to provide quality treatment to patients if AYUSH doctors are brought into mainstream.

This will severely affect tourism as JCI and NABH may not give accreditation to those hospitals where these doctors will be employed.” The IMA is also setting up a ethics and grievance cell soon to at the state and district level to hear out patients’ problems.

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