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Times of India
20 August 2010
By Sumitra Deb Roy
Mumbai, India

The state government may want to believe that discontinuing private practice will ensure commitment from doctors for public hospitals but it may have to deal with mass resignations and more vacancies instead.

Just about 18 months after allowing teachers from government medical colleges to start their own private practice post duty hours, the medical education department scrapped the clause on Wednesday and made it ‘unlawful’ for these doctors to practise outside the hospital. The state’s grouse is that public hospitals were getting step–motherly treatment.

However, many miffed doctors are already determined to say bye to the government sector. For instance, a skin specialist from JJ Hospital who did not wish to be named, said that he was already toying with the idea of quitting his alma mater.

At least five of his colleagues from the hospital were deliberating the same dilemma of whether to quit or stay. Another dentist from Government Dental College, Mumbai, voiced the same concerns saying the government’s decision was ill–conceived. The associate professor has invested close to Rs 15 lakh for setting up a 280–sq–ft dental clinic in Parel.

A cardiac surgeon from JJ Hospital pointed out that almost 35–40% of the young doctors in the hospital had their own private practices. A radiologist from St George Hospital went on to say that a section of doctors who have been illegally indulging in private practice for years will remain unaffected. The Maharashtra Medical Teachers’ Association is yet to take a stand on the issue.

Secretary, medical education, Milind Mhaiskar said the idea was to ensure more accountability.

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