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Doctors seek more PG seats internships in rural areas

Published On: 30 Jul, 2013

NEW DELHI: Every year, over 3,09,300 children (29% of global share) in India die on the day they are born; the country fairs poorly even in maternal health, with 56,000 maternal deaths per year.

While the government has taken several steps, including creation of primary health centres and promoting institutional delivery, the lack of super-specialists required to deal with this crisis remains.

In a major initiative aimed at reducing this gap, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Association of Healthcare Providers of India (AHPI) have started 'Save the doctor' campaign to demand increase in postgraduate medical seats. The doctors' association is also demanding inclusion of compulsory rural posting as part of internship and postgraduate training.

Dr Devi Shetty, founder and chairman of Narayana Hrudayalaya, who is leading this campaign, said a memorandum has been submitted to the health ministry in this regard. "As of now, there are 46,300 UG seats and 22,000 PG seats — out of which only 12,000 are in clinical subjects of interest. Due to this, there is dearth of trained medical practitioners in specific areas resulting in patients suffering due to lack of qualified doctors," said Dr Shetty. He added, "India has only 40,000 gyneacologists — one-fourth of the number required. Most specialists are concentrated in urban areas." The number of radiologists, nephrologists, diabetes experts and cancer surgeons in the country remains few, shows data.

"It is ironical. While the country suffers from acute shortage of specialists and super-specialists, lack of PG seats forces thousands of medical graduates to wait for years to get into specialty courses. In some cases, doctors opt for MBA and civil services exams because they are not able to get their desired course. Private colleges charge huge capitation fee for admission in super-specialty courses like radiology and orthopedics among others," said IMA secretary Dr Narender Saini.

The demand of IMA and AHPI has been supported by students of medical colleges like AIIMS, Safdarjung, Maulana Azad Medical College and MS Ramaiah medical colleges, Chennai among others.

"We have put online appeal on our website, savethedoctor.in, to seek support and meetings are being held across all medical colleges to mobilize students for the movement. More than 2,000 doctors have signed the online appeal demanding equalization of UG and PG seats and inclusion of rural stint in internship or PG training," said Dr Navneet Motreja, coordinator of the campaign. Experts say in developed countries such as the US, there are 19,000 UG seats and 32,000 PG and fellowship seats.

We have 46,300 UG seats and 22,000 PG seats, out of which only 12,000 are in clinical subjects of interest. This is causing a dearth of trained medical practitioners, says Dr Devi Shetty, who is leading the "Save the Doctor" campaign.

  • Source: Times of India

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