a rookie doc's rants and raves

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Reservations in medicine, back fired?

Finally the bill for reservations in higher education including in medical colleges is passed and quota for SC/ST/OBC would be implemented from the 2007 academic session. All the efforts of the anti reservation campaigns, the morchas, the beatings, arrests and thousands of man hours amounted close to nothing.

Also, this year, in Maharashtra, the rural service bond of 1 lakh was implemented. More over, completion of medical officership or breaking the bond (paying one lakh) was made the criteria for students of 2001 batch to give the post-graduate medical entrance exam. This led to a flurry of students arranging for the bond money (one lakh) as most of them wanted to have shot at the entrance exams. The government disclosed the amount of money collected just from the 2001 batch as 10.06 crores. There are many students who have not broken the bond but will break it in march-april. Moreover, students who will apply for foreign universities will have to pay one lakh extra. The basis of this extra one lakh is till date, unexplained. This inflow of cash from broken bonds will continue every year. All in all it is evident that there is going to be an influx of hard cash in the BMC in the coming years.

The reason the government gives for their right on this money is that they spend an equal amount on each medical student for the course. The government has never disclosed the amount of money it spends on medical education. So the amount of the bond money fixed at one lakh is baseless. Besides, how will this money, which is supposed to be used for medical education, be of any use to the rural health? One cannot escape doubting where this money will end up!

Medical graduates on the other hand state that taking up the medical officership will not make much difference to the rural health as the facilities and equipment available at most government primary health centres is grossly inadequate. Many centres don’t even have the basic drugs to treat conditions like fever, malaria, cough, cold and respiratory infections including tuberculosis.

Now, the government/BMC has to shoulder the responsibility of spending this acquired money on developing the quality of medical education which is below standards, to say the least. Medical students should demand the details of the money spent on them over the last past 5 years.

Over the past year, problems plaguing medical education like quota and service bond will give rise to two other problems. One, a good student aspiring to become a doctor will be persuaded to change his career options and he/she will find fields like engineering, management etc to be much more attractive. Two, many medical graduates will leave the country and go to USA, Australia, UK for postgraduation and subsequent immigration.

Infact, according to a survey the applicants for GRE and USMLE (for United States of America) from Mumbai city medical colleges have doubled in the recent few months. Are these healthy signs for the future of society’s health? Will this benefit rural health? Are we ready for a new wave of medical brain drain? We know the answers to the above questions. Unfortunately, the government doesn’t.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

damn right! Did u read the article recently in toi how iitian r now opting to stay bak home? The gov wil realize the urgency of upgradation of medical edu wen they actually face a shortage of doctors.
Btw, how abt sending them an RTI letter asking them to explain where the money goes? N how much is actually spent on us during MBBS. To think abt it, apart from running a regular avg college, what else do they spend on us? We give them money even for appearin in the exam!!
PS- Isn't the res supposed to b introduced in a phased manner, keepin the absolute number of gen quota seats unchanged?

6:52 PM  
Anonymous vinit said...

bravo samip thats a good one.i would suggest that we send some reporters to these phc's to show the disastrous condition of infrastructure nd functioning.and also the drunkard amo's which stay there.i mean how do they expect girls to stay out there.on top of it these mo's have their private practice which is why they mind our prescence.nd i say why should only docs suffer.why cant they send eneggs to villages as a part of internship to build good roads,houses.to teach computers out there.

9:33 PM  
Blogger spriha said...

That anon is me btw.. this opera thing sucks big time!!

10:29 PM  
Blogger spriha said...

that anon is me
sumthing wrong with opera...

8:34 PM  
Blogger Shiva said...

Really well written... I agree with Vinit... Someone needed to write this down for others to read in simple language...

2:05 AM  
Blogger unpretentious_diva said...

They should Immigrate.

Why aren't you trying to immigrate?

I will.

I will Immigrate to some place where an Individual can live by his/her own and will not be forced to be dependent on the Taxman. I hate taxmen lol.


enjoy the video and song of the Beatles.

7:46 AM  
Blogger samip dattani said...

hi diva..
thanks for the comment..
i wrote this post more than a year ago when i was at the end of my MBBS training and dint know what i wanted to do further..

but i knew i dint want to go to usa or any other fancy foreign country to permanantly settle
there..i still think the same..

the medical graduates who, by choice, go to usa think that the education and life in general is better there.. i do not entirely support their veiw..the time and effort it takes to settle in usa after medical training in india is the same as that of in india itself..

besides, in usa, indian medical graduates are usually considered inferior to usa medical gradutes and are given placements at mediocre training places. many doctors end up setting up their practice in small towns in usa, the very reason they dint want to be in india.. (many more issues, too little space)

i wont even begin about emotional and social issues that a person has to adjust to when he immigrates.

today, i am proud that i stood by my decision. i am accepted in one of the best surgical training programs in india (sion hosital, mumbai)

i belive a clear vision and hard work are the only things required to face the daunting task of being a doctor..

5:19 PM  

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