One yr rural stint for doctors to be made compulsory: Azad

New Delhi: Government is planning to make a one-year stint in rural India compulsory for MBBS doctors as its incentive scheme for the medicos has drawn virtually no response.

Government had launched a 50 per cent reservation in post-graduate courses for MBBS doctors who opt for a three-year rural stint after their graduation, but found no takers, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told the Lok Sabha. He said during Question Hour that the government had also offered incentives for MBBS doctors undergoing rural service in post-graduate examinations.

Those MBBS students who do one year of rural service would get 10 marks as additional weightage while those who did three years in the country`s most backward areas would get 30 marks, he said. "But, I say it with regret that our doctors have decided not to go to the rural areas. Nobody has come forward to avail of the incentives offered by the government," he said.

Azad said the government was in discussion with the Medical Council of India for changing the policy and make it mandatory for doctors to serve in rural areas for one year. In reply to another supplementary, Azad said medical degrees awarded by colleges in the US, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand were recognised by the government.

He said as per a Supreme Court directive, students studying in other countries will have to undergo tests conducted by the National Board of Examinations before being allowed to practice in the country. Azad said he had visited some countries and found 800 to 1,000 students in a single classroom.