NewDelhi, January 14
Medical graduates can finally heave a sigh of relief with the government set to abandon the long-debated
proposal of mandatory rural posting for doctors. Health Minister JP Nadda today said the Ministry of
Health didn’t want to move ahead with a proposal that doesn’t account for the opinion of stakeholders. “I have appealed to the Indian Medical Association to show us the way forward on improving the coverage of villages with doctors since the IMA has itself spoken of “Chalo Gaon ki Aur.”. On rural postings of doctors, we don’t want to move forward unless we have the stakeholders on board. We are waiting for their suggestions,”Nadda said answering a Tribune query on the subject today. Nadda admitted India was short of 7.5 lakh doctors.The IMA has been opposed to mandatory village posting for MBBS doctors since the time the previous Congress led UPA proposed making village posting a precondition for writing the medical PG exam. The BJP government under Harsh Vardhan as Health Minister recently dropped this precondition and asked the MCI to amend its three-year PG course to make one year of rural posting compulsory while medical graduates do their PG. But even the latter proposal now stands in abeyance with Ministry sources saying there is near consensus among stakeholders on encouraging voluntary village postings of doctors by incentivizing them.
India has 25000 primary health centres, most of them are facing doctor shortage. Health Secretary Luv Verma said in a recent meeting on the issue with the IMA and MCI there was a consensus on voluntary measures instead of mandatory to ensure doctors for rural areas. The IMA, meanwhile, will hold regional consultations with stakeholders, including students before submitting its proposals on the issue to the government. “We are in discussion with states to incentivise rural postings by offering good monthly salaries to doctors agreeing to serve in villages and finding other ways,” said a ministry source.
Source: Tribune India