Health Policy

Panel backs mandatory rural posting for doctors

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Members of a parliamentary panel came out strongly in support of the move to have mandatory village posting for fresh medical graduates to help provide better health care facilities in rural areas. The Medical Council of India (MCI) had earlier recommended the course, which was approved by the Health Ministry. However, the proposal got stuck with the earlier MCI board under the chairmanship of Dr S K Sarin denying to notify the course. At a meeting chaired by Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Health said this compulsory village posting was a must to fight shortage of doctors in rural areas. They also called for early introduction of Bachelor in Rural Health Care course to fight the paucity. Some members, however, suggested that those doing this course should not be given a licence to practise medicine, saying it would be better to call them “paramedics”. The members also sought more funds from the ministry to support and propagate schemes in order to reach out to the grassroots. Chairing the meeting held to discuss the National Rural Health Mission, Azad suggested that the MP Local Area Development Scheme be suitably modified to include expenditure on local health camps.

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