Medical students to be posted in rural areas

Medical students to be posted in rural areasNEW DELHI: In a bid to ensure availability of doctors in rural areas, the government has said it is mulling sending medical students pursuing post-graduation courses on village posting and has identified 184 districts in 18 states to push for medical facilities.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said a proposal of the previous government to send those who have completed their post-graduation had faced opposition, thus it was not pursued.

Now the government is discussing an idea with various stakeholders to send students completing post-graduation on rural stints.

“Now we are reviewing the whole situation. We are in the process of discussing and deliberating upon this issue in our meetings and with our various officials in the ministry and with Indian Medical Association…We are positively thinking of sending the post-graduate students to these places while they are pursing their post-graduation medical studies.

“During that period, we propose to send them to these places. I am sure that in the near future, we shall be able to resolve this issue. It will certainly help in improving our manpower situation at the Primary Health Centers,” he said.

He said a 10 per cent incentive for competitive exams in post-graduation will be given to students spending one year in rural posting. The incentive could go up to 30 per cent.

The minister said as part of the Center’s efforts to improve medical and health facilities in states, it is helping state governments set up health centers in low performing districts.

Equipment for newborn care to help reduce maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate is also being provided.

Responding to a supplementary, Vardhan said the Medical Council of India has been told that the government is not willing to accept reduction in seats in government medical colleges. He said the government wants MCI to focus on quality of education and not the size of lecture theatres. -PTI

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