Compulsory rural service for docs stressed

Compulsory rural service for docs stressed

Former minister S A Ramdas, on Saturday, emphasised on including mandatory rural service in the curriculum of medical courses, to compel successful medicos to serve in rural areas.

Addressing media persons, here, Ramdas who had previously served as the minister for medical education — during the BJP government in the State — said, the changes in curriculum could be effected by bringing in amendments to the existing rules and regulations of the Medical Council of India (MCI).

Elaborating on his demand, Ramdas said, “If the compulsory one-year rural service is effected, it will be an additional one year against the three-year post-graduate course and five years in the case of UG courses.

He exhorted the government to take a cue from the neighbouring Tamil Nadu, where there is a separate department for rural and urban service, for doctors.

Welcoming the decision of the State government to make one-year rural service for doctors mandatory, Ramdas claimed it to be the efforts of the previous BJP-led government in the State. The ordinance on compulsory rural service had been sent for the President’s consent, but had been delayed due to the negligence of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre. No sooner the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government came to power, the Union Health Minister was apprised of the matter, who succeeded in getting the consent of the Union Cabinet, facilitating the President’s approval, Ramdas said.

It will help in addressing the pending vacancies at 2,600 primary health centres (PHCs) and over 200 community health centres (CHCs) in the State. As per the available statistics, on an average 5,000 students against 6,700 MBBS students graduate from colleges in the State every year. Among them, over 1,000 enrol for PG, with the remaining 4,000 doctors available for serving in rural areas, he pointed out.

Ramdas demanded the government to bring graduates from all colleges — irrespective of government, deemed to be universities and private institutions — under mandatory rural service, besides allowing them to work in the respective states (where  they have secured seats under all India quota), under the Central pool.

Engg course
Expressing concern over vacant engineering seats, Ramdas said, it could be filled by applying TN model, where PU students are enrolled on merit basis. During the previous academic year, as many as 18,000 to 19,000 engineering seats in the State had no takers. The recent revision of fees should remain unchanged for at least three years. The increase in fees has burdened students from economically weaker sections. The first 1,000 rank holders in CET should  be provided a scholarship of Rs 20,000, he demanded.

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