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Docs duck rural service bait

OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

New Delhi, May 25: Medical graduates have so far largely spurned the government’s novel offer of extra marks in the national postgraduate entrance test in return for rural service.

“This shows the total apathy of the (medical) fraternity to rural areas,” Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said today, indicating the offer had had few takers.

“I’m very sorry to see the attitude of our (medical) students. It is said.”

The health ministry had announced the incentive in September 2009. Under the plan, junior doctors would work in rural areas for one to three years after doing their MBBS, and in return would receive 10 to 30 per cent extra marks in the entrance examinations for MD or MS degrees.

The unique offer had raised hopes of luring doctors to rural areas, after years of debate on how to do this and after abandoning an earlier proposal to make rural service mandatory for all MBBS graduates.

However, Azad indicated that the doctors were still keeping away from rural service. “I thought there would be a rush,” he said.

Health ministry sources said they could not immediately provide details of how many MBBS graduates had taken up the offer of rural service after the incentive was announced.

Over the past two years, the government has added 7,470 seats in postgraduate medicine.

Source:- Calcutta Telegraph

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