‘The Govt’s decision of sending inexperienced MBBS doctors to rural India is flawed’

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

According to various sources, the Central Government and the Medical Council of India have reached a consensus about introducing a compulsory one-year rural stint for any MBBS student who wishes to sit for post-graduation entrance exams. The rural stint will become compulsory from the 2014-15 Academic Session. The Centre’s reasoning is that this is the only way to address the shortage of doctors that rural India continues to face even 66 years after independence.

We talked to Dr Madhav Deo (Padmashree Awardee and member of Academic Council of the Medical Council of India), whose piece entitled ‘Doctor population ratio for India – The reality’ in the April issue of the Indian Journal of Medical Research argued that the problems faced by rural India in accessing healthcare services couldn’t simply be solved by making scapegoats of young medical students but by confronting the real issues like lack of specialists, facilities and deep-rooted corruption. We talked to him to get a deeper insight into the problem and how we could solve the woeful rural healthcare scenario.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q: In your opinion, is the compulsory rural posting a bad idea?

Dr Deo: No one says it’s a bad idea, but past experience suggests that it will be badly managed. Improved management can address the current issues and there’s no need for coercive techniques. Also let’s not forget that all these UG students will only act as generalists without any insight into specialties. The real problem facing rural India is the lack of specialists. The government’s decision to send inexperienced junior doctors to rural India is flawed to the core.

Source: DNA (link opens in a new window)

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