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Times of India
27 November 2011
Chandrapur India

National president of Indian Medical Association Dr Vinay Aggrawal strongly apposed the union health ministry to divide the fraternity of medical practitioners into urban and rural category. During his visit to Chandrapur on Saturday for state level IMA convention, he mobilized the rural leaders to appose the move of the centre.

Later, in a press programme Dr Aggrawal claimed that health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is trying to create a category of rural doctors across the nation. "Health ministry has plans to establish medical schools at 300 district centres across the nation under National Rural Health Mission. These schools would impart three-and-half years medical course to the students to create a new category of doctors called 'rural doctor'," said Dr Aggrawal. On contrary those study regular four-and-half-year course would be termed as urban doctors and would practice in urban areas.

He termed such bifurcation of medical practitioners as crooked political move and would only create a class similar to asha and anganwadi workers. "Rs 15,000 crores of NRHM funds meant for strengthening the rural health infrastructure is left unused. This crooked move is aimed at utilizing these funds for creation of medical schools and embezzling of money by local politicians of their parties," he alleged.

He said, "Azad argues that as doctors are not ready to go to rural areas, hence they have no alternative but to take such step. But, I feel that it is the problem related to the governance. Health ministry could adopt the regulation on lines of army and police department."

He claimed that there is strong rural health structure in the states having good governance and government there have formed regulations to compel the doctors for time bound working in rural areas.

Dr Aggrawal maintained that their organization is not apposed to educating rural students in medical profession.

"Instead of opening 300 medical schools, government should open lesser but quality medical colleges having regular medical course at rural centres. Doctors who pass out from these colleges should be compelled to work for a fixed period in rural area. While it could create quality medical practitioners, rural people would also get quality health services," he said.

President, Chandrapur-Gadchiroli Working Journalist Union Bal Hungund chaired the programme, while past IMA national president Dr Ahsok Adav and IMA secretary Dr Jaighosh Kaddu were guest in meet the press programme.

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