ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Doctors for Rural India

The editorial “Doctors for Rural Areas” (13 April 2013) is highly practical and convincing. In view of the dearth of capacity of preparing an MBBS doctor, our country lacks the number of doctors required for serving the rural areas. The MBBS doctors coming out from private medical colleges have to pay hefty amounts as capitation fees and at the same time a huge course fee. The rural areas have very poor infrastructure and lack a congenial living atmosphere and for these reasons, doctors remain absent while they serve their rural stint. This is also a reflection of the lack of morality of a certain section of doctors. Even while they are posted in urban areas it is not always true that the doctors are working with full responsibility.

Recently, during the Holi festival, junior doctors of a big hospital in Kolkata were away from duty and went on tour to Mondermoni, a sea beach for holidaying, leaving medical facilities unattended, affecting hundreds of patients. The MBBS doctors avoid serving in rural areas due to poor living conditions and above all because of the “elitist approach” of medical education. In view of the present situation, we need a course like BSc in Community Health to take care of the increasing population in rural areas. Registered medical practitioners and similar doctors have helped maintain the rural health quite effectively. The community health workers, qualified through a university degree, will definitely deliver the required medical services in rural areas. At the same time, there is a need to develop a value system and good governance by the Medical Council and the Government of India so that the medical profession becomes more responsible to the society. There should be strict regulation over course fees for medical education. There must be a regulatory mechanism for practitioner fees and medical charges in hospitals for treatment of various diseases. Medical professionals should be more dedicated to community service. The Government of India and the Medical Council must do something so that medical education can become really effective in this country where millions of people are waiting to get some treatment for their illness.

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