Vijaywada: An endeavor by private medical colleges to keep back its senior resident doctors from rural postings by retaining them as teaching faculty in their colleges has been successfully put an end by other protesting doctors.
The protest surfaced when senior resident doctors attending counselling sessions at Siddartha Government Medical College, Vijayawada and Government Medical College, Guntur for allotment of postings voiced their concerns over the matter; finally making the government bow to their objections.
The voice of dissent was first heard at a counselling session, where private and government resident doctors were taken up for counselling-separately. The Health Minister taking a cue, was quick to reassure all that the counselling would take place as per the established guidelines of the past.
The minister’s pacification succeeded and the protest was silenced. The counselling took its course later in the day with merit being the primary criteria for postings both at the teaching and the district headquarter hospitals. Private hospitals were not able to retain their staff for teaching positions in their college hospitals.
It is however, believed that the government’s earlier stand to help private hospitals in retaining their resident doctors emerged from the fact that the government would not have to spend on their stipends of Rs. 40,000 each, for rural postings; as it would be given by the private colleges themselves.
This line of thought according to sources emerged when a lobby (of private medical college association) reached the of Health Minister, Mr. Kamineni Srinivas who in turn convinced Chief Minster, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu about the economics of the issue. The exchequer savings worked out amounted to Rs. 10 crore; as 5 lac per annum is spent on each resident doctors. When a group of students met the Chief Minister to dissuade him from giving a free hand to private medical colleges, the latter is reported to have turned them down.
There are two important government stipulations regarding rural postings and accreditation that need to be noted:
- The first regarding rural postings makes service in rural areas and public health institutions mandatory for all post graduate students of medicine.
- The second deems service in government hospitals to be compulsory for both private and government medical students for registration with the MCI.