The centre is reconsidering it’s earlier decision to scrap 50% reservation for government doctors in post-graduate medical courses, with a few states registering strong protests against the decision. Media reports point out that the states of Tamil Nadu, Punjab and West Bengal are seeking more liberty with regards to implementation of their respective medical education policy, so as to improve the functioning and talent inputs in state-run hospitals.
It is reported that a meeting of the Union Health Ministry with State Health Secretaries and officials from the Directorate-General of Health Services (DGHS) and Medical Council of India (MCI) was held on recently to discuss ways to improve state health services. Many states had shown objection the abolition of reservation of government doctors
“Some states registered their strong opposition over the abolition of reservation for government doctors and said they were following their own method of implementing State and national program. They also argued that the Centre cannot intervene in the states’ medical education policies. The Union Health Secretary assured that the Centre will consider their position and asked the states to submit the demands in writing,” a senior health department official told Indian Express.
A few states have been following a different quota and incentive marks system in PG admissions for doctors who served in government hospitals. The system was however cancelled by the Council which replaced it with limited incentive marks only to those serving in government hospitals in remote regions of the state.
When the high court gave a not to the Council’s decision by upholding it, doctors in several states stood up to it early this year by staging multiple protests. The reason they gave was that the change in incentive marks would put an end to MBBS graduate feeling encouraged to join government service.
Controversy regarding incentive marks has also raged in various states. In an earlier story done on Rajasthan had stated the Supreme Court as saying the admissions to post-graduate medical courses in Rajasthan as per NEET ranks would take place in accordance with the MCI Regulations after giving incentive marks to MBBS doctors who have served in government health facilities in remote areas.
A stay was imposed by the division bench on a petition filed by doctors, who are not in government service, to stay the Rajasthan High Court order granting 10, 20 and 30 percent incentive marks in PG admissions to government doctors for rendering services in rural areas for a period of one, two and three years respectively.
Similar situation was there in Tamil Nadu, the apex medical education regulator continued to stay firm in its stand that post-graduate medical admissions for serving doctors of the Tamil Nadu government would be done only as per the new Medical Council of India (MCI) regulations. The apex education regulator during a hearing made it explicitly clear to the Madras High Court that the state could have its own reservation ruling, but marks were to be awarded in accordance with MCI regulations.
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A month later the Medical Council of India(MCI), by approving an additional 305 postgraduate seats in Government Medical Colleges in the state of Tamil Nadu gave an immense fillip to medical education in the state. This addition accounted for a near 40% increase in the existing number.
The in-service doctors who were earlier disappointed over losing 50 per cent reservation in admission to postgraduate degree courses in government colleges following a Madras High Court order felt rejuvenated as the addition raised the seats that would be allotted to them.