Agitating MBBS students end strike, rural posting not compulsory for current batch

Friday, February 14, 2014

New Delhi: Medical students and senior resident doctors have called off their strike after the union health ministry issued a statement to temporarily put on hold the rural posting criteria to take admission in postgraduate courses. According to the statement, the rural posting will not be mandatory for those appearing in PG entrance examination for the year 2015-16.

Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday met the students and assured that MBBS course duration is not seven and a half years as mentioned in an earlier notification saying it was just a typographical error and informed the agitators that their demands against an increase in MBBS course duration can be discussed in a peaceful manner.

According to a statement issued by the health ministry on Thursday, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad met the representatives of agitating medical students and listened to their concerns patiently and allayed their fears regarding the Medical Council of India (MCI) notification in respect of one year mandatory rural posting of PHC (Primary Health Centre) after completion of MBBS, before they seek admission to PG course. “The minister has directed concerned officials of the ministry to keep the notification in abeyance,” it said.

Setting at rest all speculation that the period of MBBS course has been extended by two years, the minister made it clear that there is no such proposal. He also stated that rural posting will not be mandatory for appearing in PG examination for the year 2015-16, the statement said.

According to the statement, “A letter to this effect has already been issued to the MCI.”

However, the statement did not give much satisfaction to the agitating students as the relief related to rural posting has been given only for the current batch. The students are also exploring legal options now to deal with the situation.

Urvashi, an MBBS student of Lady Harding Medical College here, who was a part of the delegation which met the health minister, told India Medical Times, “Yes, we have ended the protest yesterday evening only. But this is not what we wanted. Our struggle is not for the current batch but for all the coming batches in the future. The statement issued by the ministry is a gimmick as they pushed the issue on the next ministry to be formed after the general elections. What the new government will bring in the upcoming tenure is not yet known. We want a permanent solution.”

“We are planning to take a legal course if our demands are not met. A PIL (public interest litigation) is on the cards but the thought has to take a concrete shape yet. As of now we have decided to adopt a wait and watch approach. We will again hit the streets if we are not given a sincere solution,” she said.

Another student who was also a part of the delegation, on the condition of anonymity told India Medical Times, “We are not satisfied with the government’s half-hearted statements. Is it an answer to the nationwide strike with so many voices against the compulsory rural posting and increased duration of the course? When we enter medical colleges, we are mentally prepared that we have to study for 5.5 years and suddenly we are informed that we have to spend another year or so. Is it justified?”

Around 2,000 MBBS students of all premier government medical colleges here — including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, the University College of Medical Sciences, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Maulana Azad Medical College — protested for two days in front of the health ministry’s office at Nirman Bhawan.

Students were demanding that instead of increasing the MBBS course duration, the compulsory one-year rural posting be either incorporated within the existing MBBS course structure or included as a part of the PG curriculum and the MBBS course duration should be brought back to the original five and half years.

The statement issued by the health ministry on Thursday has, in the meanwhile, given a great reprieve to the current batch of MBBS students. What lies in store for future students remains to be seen.

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Comment by Dr K.Gowrinath
2014-02-15 06:35:35

If the government gives civil assistant surgeon status to those who follow the proposed system after passing MBBS and gives them the salary equal to the civil assistant surgeon for that one year of their work,there will be many aspirants for the compulsory posting and government will find it difficult to accomodate all the aspirants.In A.P. hundreds of crores are spent as subsidy to supply rice at one rupee per Kg to those holding white ration cards. Far less amount of money is enough to implement my proposal.

Comment by neeraja
2014-02-15 07:34:51

After completion of internship if they have given a post of tutor/CAs it is very beneficial to majority of them.Why because govt in AP is not recruiting regularly there is deficit in rural areas as well as at medical colleges which is making difficult to meet the MCI requirement, Govt is spending lots ofmoney for so many shemes why cant for the doctors.If we want to achive good health care system it is mandatory to give job opportunities for young budding doctors yearl and the young generations ae seeking the secured jobs abd salaries.Unless somechange is made in the system we cant progress in providing the halth care for rural people and standard medical education in medical institues.

Comment by Dr SK Sharma
2014-02-15 07:50:24

It is wrong to propagate that doctors are unwilling to serve in rural areas. One fails to understand why the Government has been resorting to the kind of propaganda that the doctors are reluctant to go to rural areas. The fact is what is being desired is that the doctors should get prepared to go to backward unsafe environment and unequipped non-existent working atmosphere that too with minimum emoluments. I assure everybody that if the government offers five times of what was being offered to their counterparts in urban area people won’t express the unwillingness.

Comment by Dr SK Sharma, ACMS, Delhi Cantt
2014-02-15 07:59:46

there is need to transform the health care culture from “blame & shame” to “fair & just”. why are we bent upon destroying the future of health care. Let the government stop harassing and exploiting the already timid, weak and appeasing health professionals. majority of them want to serve in government health institutions whatever may the conditions therein.

Comment by sandeep
2014-02-15 11:21:32




Why drs are not willing to go to rural areas. poor approach roads, lack of infrastructure, water supply, sanitation, spending days without electric supply, telephone, no house to live, no school for childern, non availability of proper toilet facilities, even for buying goods for daily use one has to be dependent on urban markets, poor working conditions,lack of hospital infrastructure, why should an MBBS graduate be asked to go to villages. only to satisfy ego of these ‘neta’ and ‘babus’ who think that when they post an MBBS dr it will improve health status of the villages. this dr would only face the wrath of rural population for not being able to serve properly.

There are no teachers in schools, no roads, no electricity, are engineers/and teachers being asked for a BOND to serve in rural areas.

Drs are human beings and they also want to be paid decently. If the villages could be developed in such a way that they had affluence level at par with the cities. Market economy would have taken drs to villages, even in private sector.


Govt can opt for alternate strategies, like RSBY, they can start Rural Health Scheme for private doctors. Then automatically for getting better money drs would start practicing in villages.

Comment by pankaj mehta
2014-02-15 13:25:34

There is a basic flaw here. In present day scenario an MBBS doctor is not trained at all to handle any patients. Even after internship they are unable to handle any medical situation other than most basic. What is the govt thinking??

Comment by Partha
2014-02-15 13:44:11

You are right. Govt that can spend millions on several wasteful and doubtful items can easily pay good salary to the doctors posted in rural areas.

Comment by Saikumar G
2014-02-16 22:39:39

The main idea of government insistance on rural service to young doctors after completion of MBBS is for the benefit of rural population. But govt does not want to spend money for their service. One side,the politicians claim that they are spending lakhs of rupees on each doctor just to keep the public informed and get sympathy that doctors are not interested to work in rural areas. Every village in our country is dominated by quacks and those prescribing allopathy drugs without proper qualification.They are the root cause of risk for MBBS doctors.Usually they provoke the villagers against the PHC doctors for their survival because they can not compete with MBBS doctors there. Decent accomodation within the PHC campus, availability of nursing and paramedical staff round the clock is a must.Availability of life saving drugs,vaccines and transport to bigger hospitals for better care is important.Are these requirements are arranged by the state governments in all hospitals in rural areas.When Politicians and beaurocrats are trying to control medical education and medical care in our country and this trend is shameful. Medical students got temporary relief because this is election year.The word medical profession as ‘noble profession’ has no takers because medical degrees are sold in many private medical colleges. Already, crores of rupees were slapped as compensation on a doctor for medical negligence but same is not being followed on government employees for failing their duty or negligence resulting in loss of lives in accidents or sale of spurious drugs. Unless doctors stand united against this type of unnecessary and undemocratic rules, they will face worse situation once elections are over.

Comment by Dr. PS KAPOOR
2014-02-22 11:34:22

Ministry of Health requested to consider seriously the requirements of agitating medical students as well of doctors to be posted in rural areas e.g. proper infrastructure at the rural dispensaries/PHC etc. (adequate buildings, paramedical staff, clinical laboratories, minor/major operation theatres,X-ray, transportation etc), alongwith adequate accommodation – may be rented for the posting doctors & paramedical staff, transportation for these as well as for their depending family members, school buses for ferrying their children to their liking schools in the nearby urban areas, providing security to these as well as to their wards. All these facilities should be made available as par with other departments officials – will remove the main heartburning. Posting of students prior to PG examination to be shelved & instead of that posting of needy/voluntary retired or fresh doctors unwilling to opt for PG courses, may be considered seriously – will provide better medical services because of their experience.
Dr. PS Kapoor
Author : Medical Jurisprudence

Comment by Rohit
2016-08-22 19:04:44

In Chhattisgarh they r asking the so hard worked & selected candidates to sign 25 lakhs bond before taking admission to Medical Colleges..and to crown the autocracy the yearly fees has been kept to a high of 50000 Rs a year… So isnt it a type of DADAGIRI & that too on the medical aspirants..There is no bond on other educational qualifications like IIT…the government gives 500 acres for one IIT ..they pass out & take jobs out of India..Common India ..Be sensible & dont exploit the budding doctors..Give them adequate facilities & working atmosphere first & then you will see a welcome change.

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