Junior doctors have dual stands to escape rural service

Medicos refuse to serve in tertiary centers; it’s a cost-cutting ploy, allege doctors

Hyderabad: Despite claiming that they are not against rural service, post-graduate doctors have gone on strike and on Wednesday tried to boycott service counseling.

More than 250 doctors protested outside the Vaidhya Vidhana Parishad at Sultan Bazaar. They were arrested and shifted to the Malakpet police station.

Their demand this year is that they don’t want to serve in tertiary care centers and must be given permanent jobs in public health centers. Last year they had gone on strike claiming that they couldn’t work in public health centers as there were no facilities, no instruments and no security.

These dual stands are merely to escape rural service,claimed senior officials in the Health department.

Dr Sai Kiran of Gandhi Hospital said, “We are not against rural service but we want the state to place us permanently in public health centers. We want permanent jobs.”

This comes as a surprise as till last year, they were refusing to go to these centers. Dr Abhilash K., another doctor said, “The temporary posting will not serve the purpose. Every year there will be a different batch of students who will go these sectors and serve, which will not help the government. In the garb of service,they are filling the vacant posts in government tertiary centers. This is just another method of contract system”

Director of Health and Medical Education, Dr P. Srinivas, said, “Last year the protest was to not to go these centers and this year the protest is not to go to tertiary care centers. We are very clear that MBBS graduates will have to go to the PHC’s and the post-graduate students will have to go to the tertiary care centers.”

Upset with the tough stand taken by the government, junior doctors protested outside the Gandhi Hospital till late evening.

Telangana State and Andhra Pradesh flout guidelines on rural medical service

In posting medicos to government medical colleges as residents, the two governments seem to be flouting their own rules.

Guidelines issued last year for allotment of post-graduate medicos stated that the purpose of government service was to improve healthcare at the primary and secondary level in towns and villages. But medicos have almost entirely been allotted to tertiary hospitals in cities.

Medicos allege that it is a cost-cutting measure so that the government won’t have to hire doctors permanently.

“In the current system, authorities can post a fresh batch of post-grads every year to medical college and do away with regular postings. They hardly pay us for government service, though they have fixed honorarium, so it is a lot of savings,” said a junior doctor.

Officials, say that MBBS grads will be sent to primary and secondary hospitals from the next year as the guidelines for their rural service would be applicable only from 2015.

Guidelines framed last year by a committee of experts mandated that the, “purpose of this Compulsory Government Service for the trainee doctors is to see that the deficiency of the specialist doctors is reduced at primary and secondary health care level… Specialist doctors are supplementing resources in a unique manner”.

( Source : dc correspondent )
Next Story