Hyderabad: The number of medical graduates and postgraduates applying for positions at medical colleges and government hospitals has substantially reduced due to the government’s decision to ban the private practice of doctors in such posts.
In addition to this, many current doctors say that they would resign from their posts if the ban is not overturned. Last week, the Healthcare Reforms Doctors Association (HRDA) filed a writ petition in the Telangana High Court challenging the ban.
According to HRDA president Dr K. Mahesh Kumar, as per the provisional merit lists, the ratio of the number of seats to applicants for recruitment to Civil Assistant Surgeon posts under the Directorate of Public Health was about 1:8 during the previous years, but this year, it had reduced to 1:5.
Similarly, the ratio for Assistant Professor posts had reduced from 1:8 to 1:2, he said.
An Assistant Professor from a government hospital in the state, who wished to remain anonymous, said he earlier had an additional private practice at his native village, about 50 km from the hospital. The doctor completed his graduation and PG from government institutes and wanted to reciprocate by working for them, while his private practice was motivated by his wish to provide healthcare in his village, which does not have any hospitals nearby.
“By imposing the ban, the government is discouraging doctors like us to practice in peripheral areas. I, along with many other doctors, will resign if the ban is not overturned. Our salaries are low considering we spend so many years to qualify (Assistant Professors in the state earn Rs 1.25 lakh), so we would rather join corporate hospitals, where not only is the pay higher, but the private practice is also allowed,” the doctor said.
Another doctor working on a contract basis in a government medical college said she had applied for the post of Assistant Professor in 2022 but was not sure if she will take up the job, owing to the ban. “So many doctors are in this dilemma and many of them did not even apply for the posts because of the ban, saying they preferred to take up jobs at private hospitals,” the doctor said.