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Times of India
12 August 2010
By Shailvee Sharda
Lucknow, India

Govt Mulls Incentives For Medicos Who Serve In Villages
Lucrative Offer: Extra Score For Rural Chores?
Serving in rural areas is perhaps the last thing that comes to the mind of a modern medico. A four–and–a–half–year long slogging stint at the medical college and the glittering lifestyle of cities makes them naturally allergic to the backward countryside. But medicos may soon find a good reason to serve the rustic people. The state government is giving a serious thought to awarding incentives to medical students who serve in rural areas after their internships.

As per the scheme, rural assignments will earn the MBBS doctors 10–30 extra marks they need to ensure a postgraduate (PG) medical seat. Government has plans to use this new work–force through National Rural Health Mission.

The state government is acting on recommendations made by the National Council for Human Resources in Health (NCHRH). Union health ministry made relevant changes in certain regulations under the Indian medical council Act, 1956.

Union health minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad had also written to chief minister Mayawati in this regard. ‘‘Additional weightage will be given in the postgraduate entrance examination at a rate of 10% for each year of rural service.

A candidate may avail a maximum of 30% for three years of working in rural areas," said the letter by Azad. Medical education department officials are not sure whether the scheme would be ready for implementation from the next academic session or not.

‘‘We all are aware of the shortage of doctors in the state... people in the city may reach out to the doctors in private sector but the poor villagers land up at the clinics of quacks. Making medicos work in lieu of academic benefits is perhaps the only resort," said a senior officers at state medical education directorate.

Experts in health services are of the view that the formula would work out.
"Doctors shying away from rural areas, would now work. After all, MBBS doctors with rural work experience will sit for the PG exam with 10–30 marks guaranteed," said Dr DP Mishra, ex–president provincial medical health services.

Another recommendation made by the NCHRH has been adopted by the health ministry. Under this, 50% of the seats for postgraduate diploma courses would be reserved for medical officers who serve in remote and difficult areas for at least three years. However, this is yet to be embraced by the UP government.

Medicos For Masses

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