Maharashtra govt to give 10% quota to rural stints

Maharashtra govt to give 10% quota to rural stints

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In order to meet the requirement of doctors in villages, the Maharashtra government has proposed a plan of reserving 10 per cent MBBS and 20 per cent post medical graduation seats for doctors who are willing to work in interior areas for five and seven years respectively, according to a Times of India report. 

The bill will be introduced in the state cabinet as Maharashtra Designation of Certain Seats in government and Municipal Corporations Medical Colleges. The initial plan will be launched with 450-500 seats for MBBS and seats for in-service MBBS graduates while PG seats will be around 300. 

If a person fails to work in a state-run hospital after completion of course, he will be imprisoned for five years and his degree will be terminated. 

“The decision has been taken to ensure that we have enough doctors to man the primary health centres and other rural health facilities in rural, hilly or remote areas. Students getting a seat under the quota will have to sign bond. Any breach would attract imprisonment of five years as well as cancellation of degrees. Only those with the state’s domicile certificate can opt for the quota,” said Dr T P Lahane, head of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) to TOI.

A similar scheme is existing for all MBBS and PG students studying in public medical colleges. 

All MBBS and PG students studying in the public medical colleges will have to serve a mandatory one-year bond after the completion of each degree failing which MBBS students will have to pay a penalty of Rs 10 lakh, PG doctors Rs 50 lakh and super specialist Rs 2 crore. But the scheme has not yet worked as less than 10 per cent candidates have finished the bond or paid the penalty.

Dr Abhay Shukla of Jan Arogya Abhiyan said in the report, "It’s a unique approach no doubt, but one can’t help but wonder that the state could have got 5,000 doctors by implementing the bond concept."

 He further said “We have already seen that penalty doesn’t work. Also, jailing a person seems to be too punitive a step to make doctors work, when vast countries like Canada and Australia manage to get doctors to work in rural areas by providing good facilities."

In a recent economic survey, it was claimed that Maharashtra has 1: 1,330 doctors to population ratio while WHO recommends 1: 1000. Some parts of Maharashtra like Gadchiroli has one doctor for 5000 people or more.  

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