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Sharad Pawar wants shorter MBBS course

Pune: Union agriculture minister and Nationalist Congress Party chief, Sharad Pawar, on Sunday expressed his reservations about the long-drawn educational course in medicine and surgery. “It takes about 10 years before a medical student becomes a doctor and takes up practice. By this time students of other professions not only complete their education but also settle down in life. I would take up the issue of reducing the duration of medical courses with (Union health minister) Gulam Nabi Azad and the Medical Council of India,” he said. Pawar was addressing a gathering at Ganesh Kala Krida Manch during the one-day state-level conference of the doctors’ cell of the NCP. According to Pawar, due to such lengthy courses in medical education, hundreds of students are opting for other professional courses.Pawar also stressed the need to improve medical services in rural areas of the country, advocating that doctors working in rural areas be given tax benefits and incentives.

“To attract more medical practitioners to serve in rural areas there is a need to give them incentives like rebate in duties on medical instruments and medicines,” he said, adding that the NCP doctors’ cell needs to focus on women doctors’ participation. The state minister for medical education, Vijaykumar Gavit, said the state government has made bond mandatory for medical students seeking admissions in government medical colleges, to ensure that medical services are provided in a proper manner in rural areas.”We are now planning to permit doctors — who are not willing to work in health centres and hospitals in rural areas — to open nursing homes in rural areas. The government would not be averse to such an idea,” Gavit added. After addressing the gathering, Pawar left for New Delhi to attend an important meeting at the prime minister’s residence, on the occasion of the United Progressive Alliance government completing two years in office.

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