One-year rural service will become mandatory for students who are in their final year of MBBS and those studying post-graduate courses in medicine

Even as the Union government and Medical Council of India appear set to extend the duration of MBBS course by a year from the existing five-and-a-half from 2013-14, the State government will make rural service mandatory for students clearing MBBS and post-graduate courses in medicine this academic year itself.

Replying to Congress member B. Ramanath Rai during Question Hour in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, Minister for Medical Education S.A. Ramdas said the State government will table a draft Bill on making one-year rural service mandatory for MBBS and post-graduate students of medicine on July 30.

“By September this year, 3,000 MBBS students and 1,110 post-graduates in medicine, who will pass out of medical colleges, will become available for rural service in the State,” he said.

Hence, one-year rural service will become mandatory for students who are in their final year of MBBS and those studying post-graduate courses in medicine.

The government will incur an expenditure of Rs. 386 crore on this, Mr. Ramdas added.

Mr. Ramdas said that the last year of medicine course will be considered for rural deployment.

Several Opposition MLAs cited the shortage of government doctors in rural areas and urged the government to promulgate an ordinance to make rural service mandatory for MBBS doctors if the passage of the Bill is delayed.

Government officials had recommended that MBBS graduates be made eligible for registration with the Karnataka Medical Council only after they completed a one-year rural service.