PUNE: While the cabinet has decided to reserve medical seats as an incentive to ensure more students are willing to put a compulsory term in rural and tribal hospitals, medical professionals from the state think that this step may not prove to be as effective as the government is expecting.
On Monday, the State cabinet gave a nod to 10 per cent seats in undergraduate courses and 20 per cent seats in postgraduate courses as an incentive for students. These students will have to serve a compulsory regular service in rural, tribal and rural government institutions for seven and five years, respectively.
The government aims at providing better medical services in remote parts of the state by offering this to the students.
There is a compulsory one year bond which medical and dental graduates and postgraduates and super-speciality students from government medical colleges have to serve. These students are required to spend a year at the government-run rural health centre after the completion of their course.
Medical students who do not wish to serve this bond, have to pay a fine.
Speaking about the decision, Hrishikesh Mankar, President of the Association of State Medical Interns (ASMI) said, “This policy may attract many doctors to go to rural areas but the problem in the rural areas is also of human resources as well as infrastructure. The problem if medicine availability, as well as hygiene at these hospitals, does not get solved by appointing a doctor. Hence, the government should also think about overall improvement at hospitals in rural and tribal areas,” said Mankar.
Sharing similar views, Dr Avinash Bhondwe, President-Elect, Indian Medical Association (IMA) said, “Five years and seven years bond is not fair for students. For doing post-graduation outside India, a student cannot get admission outside if he hasn’t served his bond here. This is a reflection on how the scope for students to pursue post-graduation is decreasing. Now with this step, it is not very attractive for students,” said Dr Bhondwe.
He added that the government should give concession on the bond. “The government should include this and then introduce 10 per cent and 20 per cent reservation. Students will definitely go for it,” added Dr Bhondwe.