Compulsory rural stint for medical graduates likely: Centre

Compulsory rural stint for medical graduates likely: Centre

In an affidavit filed before the Delhi High Court, the Health Ministry said it was taking all possible steps, which includes special compensation package for doctors, to attract them to serve in rural areas.

In a six-page affidavit filed by the joint secretary in the ministry, the government has said promotion would be given to doctors who serve in difficult areas.

"Compensation packages and introduction of incentive and allowances for doctors practising in rural areas are being considered by the government," the affidavit said, adding compulsory rural posting for all medical graduates is also being considered.
The government's response came on a PIL filed by a doctor Meenakshi Gautam seeking its direction on allowing non-MBBS persons to practise medicine to help meet scarcity of doctors in rural areas.

Advocates Prashant Bhushan and Pranav Sachdeva appearing for the petitioner pleaded that the Centre and Medical Council of India should be directed to introduce a short-term course for training health care workers to overcome the shortage.

The petitioner pleaded that the Indian Medical Council Act, which provides for one-year imprisonment for practice of medicine by non-MBBS persons, should be amended.

"The effect of the Section is that only a person with MBBS qualification can practice medicine and prescribe a scheduled drug. This section has obstructed the development of mid-level health practitioners who can deliver family health care. This has led to a situation where a large majority of the population is unable to get treatment," they contended.

She submitted that the government should be directed to provide three-years course to health workers so that they could provide proper medical services in rural areas.

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