Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has expressed concern over the increasing reluctance of doctors to serve people in rural areas. He called upon the younger generation getting into the profession to understand the plight of poor rural populations, work for them and derive pleasure from their blessings.
Fadnavis was speaking at the concluding function of the silver jubilee celebrations of NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Lata Mangeshkar Hospital of Vidya Shikshan Prasarak Mandal (VSPM) run by former minister Ranjeet Deshmukh. The CM proposed that all doctors must serve for at least 10 years in rural areas on the lines of the doctors produced by the Armed Forces Medical College, who have to serve seven years in government service. “The state can try speaking to the Medical Council of India (MCI) to find a way to do this.”
CM said the government was doing its job of providing all basic facilities to doctors but didn’t get the required response from doctors after they completed their education. Relating it to the issue of farmers’ suicide, he said that having doctors in rural areas could be of great help in reducing the number of suicides, both by preventive counselling and treating them. He said the government was opening colleges in every district but the doctors were not ready to serve even in these towns after completing their course.
Union surface transport minister Nitin Gadkari who initiated the topic in his address before the CM’s speech said that although it was the duty of the government to provide medical education, its obvious inability to do so was the reason the private sector was allowed to set up colleges. But unfortunately, doctors produced from these colleges too want to work only in big cities like Mumbai and Pune, he said.
State finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar too called upon doctors to reach the remotest of the people as he felt that treating patients was the biggest act of humanity.
Dr Ved Prakash Mishra, chancellor, Krishna University, Karad, said opening new colleges to produce more doctors is not the solution. The colleges should be started with a planned and futuristic view for next 50 years.
Ranjeet Deshmukh became a little emotional in his speech, remembering his association with his mentor and veteran congressman NKP Salve, whose bust was unveiled by Fadnavis and Gadkari to mark the silver jubilee year.
College dean Dr Kajal Mitra spoke about activities conducted during the silver jubilee year with Emergency Medical Services as the theme. He also spelt out the future plans.
The guests honoured 80 teachers and 90 non-teaching staff members who completed 25 years of service in the institute. They also inaugurated a palliative care unit in the institute and released a biography of Deshmukh.
The institute honoured six doctors from Central India for their outstanding work in the field of academic and professional excellence and social service work. These included Dr Omang Khurana from Durg and Dr Riyaz Farooqui for professional excellence, Dr Sunil Gupta and Dr Vinod Thawani from city and Bhopal respectively for academic excellence, and Dr Avinash Saoji from Amravati and Dr Ashish Satav from Melghat for their social work in medical field