Junior doctors protest mandatory rural posting for PG admission

Thursday 08 August 2013

Health officials say if medical graduates have problems with poor infrastructure they should demand better facilities instead of making it an excuse for not serving in rural areas

Protesting doctors want rural posting to be made voluntary (photo by Soumik Mukherjee)

Junior doctors of government medical colleges and hospitals organised a protest at Jantar Mantar on Thursday against the Centre's decision to make rural posting mandatory. They termed the move as UPA’s political decision keeping in mind the forthcoming parliamentary election. The doctors termed the agitation as ‘Save the Doctor’.

The decision to make one year rural posting mandatory for medical students before they take admission in post-graduate courses was taken last month. The decision by the Union health ministry followed two years of deliberations. A ministry official said the decision could be made applicable from 2014-15 student batches.
Hundreds of medical students with the support of Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Delhi Medical Association (DMA) gathered at Jantar Mantar to oppose the government decision. They claimed that they are not against rural posting but that it should not be made mandatory. They want rural posting to be made voluntary.

They claimed that there is no infrastructure in rural areas. There are many primary health centres (PHC) which exist only on paper. There is no water facility, no school for children, they said, while adding that security is major concern in rural areas. In such a situation, how will doctors serve there? they asked.

Deepankar, general secretary of Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung hospital, said that it was not possible for medicos to serve when infrastructure is so poor and health centres are either dilapidated structures or non-existent. “We should be sent to rural areas during internship, not after the course,” he said, arguing that one year mandatory service will extend already long courses of medical studies.

State secretary of DMA, K K Kohali, too, backed voluntary posting for medical graduates. When he was asked how he can advocate voluntary posting as record says that doctors are not willing to go in rural areas, he said they will go when the government gives them lucrative incentives. Instead of forcing students to go to rural areas, the government should advertise vacancies and recruit doctors. There are hardly 2,000 PHCs with no doctors; how will the government accommodate all PG aspirants? he asked.

Cardiologist and dean of board of medical education in Moolachand Medicity, K K Aggarwal, also reached the venue to express solidarity with the protesters. He pointed out that almost 100,000 students are waiting to take admission in PG courses. “How will government accommodate all of them, if rural posting becomes mandatory?” he questioned. He said that the government should find some other way out to send doctors to rural areas instead of making it conditional for admission to PG courses.

Are protests justified?

K M Shyamprasad, who was a member of the task force on medical education of the Government of India's National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and a member of the governing body and institute body of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, said the protests against rural posting is wrong. He said that these same doctors oppose the government decision to launch three year MBBS course. “They are also opposing compulsory rural posting.

In these circumstances, who would provide care to the rural areas?” he asked. “If the doctors have problems with infrastructure in rural areas, they must demand that it is improved but they should not associate it with the posting,” he said. About the long duration of the course, he said that if anybody has problem with the duration, he must not opt for it. There are many other professions which require less duration of study.


 

 

Move from news to views and get in-depth reports on issues that matter to you, every fortnight.
Subscribe now »

We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.

  • Why should doctors be

    Why should doctors be discriminated against.

    Make it mandatory for all types of graduates like engineers, arts, commerce, etc. a village needs all types of graduates.
    1. For better housing and drainage, civil engineers and architects must also be posted in villages.
    2. For better farming, agriculture graduates must also be posted in villages.
    3. For better social growth, B.A. Sociology, B.A. Psychology should also be posted in the villages.
    4. Homeopaths and Ayurveda and Yunani doctors must also be posted in the villages.
    5. To learn better trading practice for the farm produce, commerce graduates must also be posted in villages before they appear for C.A. exams.

    Doctors should protest against discrimination, not against posting in rural areas.
    Make it mandatory for IIT graduates to serve in Rural areas before flying out to USA, and see the difference.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • There are completely other

    There are completely other reasons why this compulsion is a wrong thing. Modern medicine is a failed institution and a money-spinning industry. Rural areas need to preserve/ revive their traditional knowledge of medicine. Sending city-bred doctors to these areas will kill the traditional knowledge, and make rural folk unnecessarily dependent on unsustainable infrastructure for their health.

    This push is less out of concern for rural areas and more a ploy to expand the business of Big Pharma into unexploited sectors. In this battle of occupation, the doctors are being made unwilling, conscripted soldiers sent in to waste important years of their lives for some rich people's profits.

    Taking this to the maco level, EVERY human being on this planet is justified in refusing to do something out of compulsion as long as he/she is not directly harming another human being by this refusal. There is no clear evidence that not doing the compulsory rural posting will harm anybody... Anyways the whole rationale of forcing people to do things for "the common good" has historically created only more problems, be it any sector.

    But taking this further, if Big Pharma has really hijacked the certified medical profession, then the best thing that can come out of this is a movement of doctors to break free of the top-down institutions, unite and create independent bodies and start practicing REAL healing, OUTSIDE of the official/certified medical establishment. That will only help the people get better choices at hand for their health woes. Already the ayurved / homeopathy / naturopathy / nutrition movement has earned considerable credibility out of sheer results.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • There is a huge politics

    There is a huge politics going on around. Sending junior level doctors to rural areas just to be eligible for PG admission is insane. The protest is right. Hope the government and educational authorities will take some stringent actions

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
  • Around 300 junior doctors

    Around 300 junior doctors held a dharna at Director Medical Education office against the one-year mandatory rural service.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
  • Hello Kundan, The decision by

    Hello Kundan,
    The decision by the Union health ministry followed two years of deliberations. A ministry official said the decision could be made applicable from 2014-15 student batches.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
  • Hey as per my views the

    Hey as per my views the protest is right. Hope the government and educational authorities will take some stringent actions.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
  • You will find there's huge

    You will find there's huge politics going on around. Sending jr . level physicians to rural areas simply to be eligible for PG everyone is mad. The demonstration is proper. Hope the costa rica government and informative authorities will take some tough actions.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
  • how can they force you for

    how can they force you for something for getting higher education...meanwhile one can join a private college just by giving money without doing any rural service...

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
  • Figures for MBBS doctors in

    Figures for MBBS doctors in PHCs (all India, As on March, 2012) -

    - Required : 24049
    - Shortfall : 2489 = (2489 x 100) / 24049 % = 10.35%

    Consider sending the appeal (which the health minister would never bother to read, of course) if you are able to comprehend to necessity of the campaign.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
  • In spite of 30,000 doctors

    In spite of 30,000 doctors graduating in India every year the shortfall still exists. Improving rural facilities may result in less percentage going abroad. UK right now has arnd 30k indian doctors and US topping it with 40k doctors from india.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
  • Protest for rights is good.

    Protest for rights is good. That is only the way asset our rights in front of our Govt. Hope the government and educational authorities will take some Good actions.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
  • Hope the government and

    Hope the government and informative authorities will take some tough actions and you will take some stringent actions.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
  • The government must take

    The government must take necessary action to calm down this issue otherwise this will became a serious problem. The demands of the junior doctors must be taken into consideration.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
  • This is very important news

    This is very important news for all the medical students so check this article Junior doctors protest mandatory rural posting for PG admission

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
  • No doubt, Protest is right

    No doubt, Protest is right but not the solution of every problem.

    Anyways,hope for the best

    Posted by: Anonymous | 4 years ago | Reply
  • There are completely other

    There are completely other reasons why this compulsion is a wrong thing. Modern medicine is a failed institution and a money-spinning industry. Rural areas need to preserve/ revive their traditional knowledge of medicine. Sending city-bred doctors to these areas will kill the traditional knowledge, and make rural folk unnecessarily dependent on unsustainable infrastructure for their health.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • The political goons are

    The political goons are playing with our country's future.Its time for us to act smart and start such protests against them at least to protect the upcoming generation.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • Because of some politicians

    Because of some politicians future of Our country's doctor is dark. They always made some rules against. Now we should stand up together and start this protest to save our near future.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • The government must take

    The government must take necessary action to calm down this issue otherwise this will became a serious problem. The demands of the junior doctors must be taken into consideration

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • I guess they their Protest

    I guess they their Protest was required because its very necessary to reach their voice to the Government Officials sitting in their Room. The Junior Doctors needs to provide treatment to the Peoples, So the demands by the Junior doctors must be fulfilled.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
  • I will immediately snatch

    I will immediately snatch your rss as I can not find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do youÔÇÖve any? Please permit me recognise in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks

    Posted by: Anonymous | 3 years ago | Reply
Scroll To Top