The Centre is proposing to make it mandatory for MBBS doctors to undergo a one-year stint in rural areas after its incentives to attract doctors to these lesser-served areas found few takers.
Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said in the Lok Sabha on Friday that the Ministry launched a 50 per cent reservation in post-graduate courses for serving MBBS doctors who opted for a three-year stint in rural areas, but it evoked no response.
The government's incentives for medical students taking post-graduate entrance examinations too did not find any takers — students who did one year of rural service were to get 10 per cent marks as additional weightage, while those who did three years would get up to 30 per cent additional marks, he said.
“But I say it with regret that our doctors have decided not to go to the rural areas. Nobody has come forward to make use of the incentives,” he said.
Mr. Azad said the government was in discussion with the Medical Council of India for changing the policy to make it mandatory for doctors to serve in rural areas for one year.
Responding to a question, Mr. Azad admitted that a perusal of the Medical Council of India registry revealed that some doctors were registered in as many as three States and there was no record to show whether the practitioners were retired or still practising.
“Even the figure of 8.4 lakh registered with the MCI will have to be revised,” he said.