Compulsory 1 year rural posting for MBBS students
In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, the Minister of health and family welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that MBBS students applying for admission to post-graduate medical courses from academic year 2015-16 will have to undertake a mandatory rural posting at a public health centre (PHC) for one year.
In India there is a significant shortfall of doctors in terms of number. The primary health centers presently are short of around 2500 doctors. In addition to that, there is also a shortfall of 3,459 surgeons, 3,005 obstetricians and gynecologists, 3,667 physicians, 3,270 pediatricians and a total of 13,477 specialists in community health centers across the country.
Starting from 2015-16, MBBS doctors will need to complete one year in rural posting at the primary health centers. This is mandatory as a eligibility criteria before applying to Post Graduate Medical studies in India. This decision has been taken after the proposal of Medical Council of India (MCI) to amend the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations Act, 2000 in this regard got approved.
In July this year, decision in this regard was announced, however timeline was not specified. Now it has been clarified that the said rule shall be in effect starting 2015-16.
A number of students in the country are against the decision and many more are in serious thinking about re charting their course of studies and career plans. The rule is seen to be a major deterrent for students who have been planning to pursue post graduate medical studies in India.
The debate has been raging for more than a year now. On one hand the fact remains that it is indeed a good way to improve medical services in rural areas, but the fact remains that aspiring doctors will have to prolong their duration of studies before starting off their career.
We welcome your views in this regard.