Doctors of several hospitals such as AIIMS, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College in Safdarjung Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Maulana Azad Medical College and University College of Medical Sciences protested on Thursday, 8th August 2013, at Jantar Mantar against the government’s decision to make one year rural posting compulsory for doctors applying for post-graduation entrance exams.
The protesting doctors demanded that rural posting should be made a part of post-graduation. They also said that if rural posting is introduced before post graduation, it should be made voluntary and should not be an eligibility criterion for applying to post graduation.
A delegation of doctors met Union Health Secretary Keshav Desiraju, who said their demands were justified and would be looked into in a broader perspective, the doctors said. The protesting doctors said they were willing to serve in rural areas, but the infrastructure is very poor and there is lack of basic facilities in the primary health centres, which is a major hindrance.
There are no proper labs to carry out the investigations in primary health centres, no lab attendants or nurses. Moreover, safety of female doctors in rural areas is not assured, one of the protestors said.
They also demanded that the number of under graduate level and post graduate level medical seats should be made equal. The protest was part of 'Save the Doctor' campaign launched by the Indian Medical Association and Association of Healthcare Providers.
The government recently decided to make it mandatory for all MBBS doctors to undergo one year rural posting to sit for post-graduation entrance examination. Pursuing a post graduation in any stream of medicine is essential for a doctor to become specialist in any field such as neurology, surgery or radiology.