Friday, 18 March 2011

rural service must

While changes in medical syllabus proposed by Medical Council of India ( MCI) are still getting flak from medical community, Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) has come up with another set of proposals. These changes, more administrative than academic in nature, are under consideration of the doctors and teachers.

Instead of getting their permanent registrations as doctors after a year of internship, the MBBS students would be awarded a provisional degree for three years. This enable them to complete a two year internship and one year as medical officers at primary health centres. Those who wish to continue further education need to give assurance that they would do the compulsory government service after the completion of their course. Alternatively, they could pay the bond money amounting to lakhs of rupees and be free of the obligation.

The permanent degree could only be acquired after showing the bond free certificate or service certificate. The original certificates of the student would also be held back until either of these two documents is shown.

These proposed changes have not been implemented yet but many in the medical fraternity have been asked their opinions on the same. They have largely disliked the proposals and are opposing them vehemently. "Though the rural service has been made compulsory, I doubt if the government would be able to provide all students with jobs. Even after all posts of medical officers across the state have been filled, many students would be left out. We are not opposed to innovative ways of sending doctors to rural areas but it should not be done at the cost of the undergraduate students," said Dr Pankaj Nalawade, president of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD).

Another teacher from Nagpur said, "This would not be a positive step for primary heath centres too as they would have a staff that shifts every year."

Even students are not too happy. "Our internship comprises basic orientation of all branches giving us an exposure on ways to manage all kinds of medical issues. Increasing its duration would not help. Besides, many students opt to take a break to prepare for competitive exams. They would now be forced to either work or pay big money if they wished to opt out. This would never let them be good doctors," said Jayant Kumar, an interning medico.

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