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Friday, February 20, 2009

“Do not make service in rural areas compulsory”

Staff Reporter
Says Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association
MADURAI: Increasing the duration of the M.B.B.S. course and introducing compulsory rural service in the pretext of improving rural health service is a gross exploitation of medical graduates, said K. Senthil, Secretary, Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association (TNGDA).
Supporting the agitating medical students and house surgeons in their cause, he said that introduction of the new system would be a retrograde step that would discourage cream of talents from pursuing medical education.
Poor remuneration
Citing poor remuneration in the field as one of the reasons which restrained students from taking up medical education, he said that the situation would worsen if the duration of the course was increased for compulsory rural service.
The TNGDA with its members working in rural areas had felt that such a move was uncalled for and had suggested certain motivational measures to promote rural service, he said.
Additional Marks
The Tamil Nadu Government had been granting one additional mark for one year of rural service to a maximum of 10 marks in the Tamil Nadu Post Graduate Entrance Examination, said Dr. Senthil and wanted the same to be followed in the All India Post Graduate Entrance Examination.
“The Government had conceded favourably to our request to grant two marks per year for those working in hilly terrains,” he said.
Extra remuneration could be paid to the medical professionals for working in remote and interior places, he suggested.
If at all Government wanted to make rural service compulsory citing the pitiable state of affairs in States like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh or in North Eastern States, State Governments could direct the respective State Medical Councils to register all medical graduates for a period of 10 years with one year compulsory rural service.
Registrations could be renewed on fulfilment of the condition, though TNGDA was not for compulsory rural posting, he said.
“Unwanted” step
The TNGDA also appealed to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to intervene and stop the “unwanted” step by the Union Health Ministry.

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