This refers to the article “The wrong way for rural doctors” (Feb. 27) by Anbumani Ramadoss. As a doctor with an MBBS degree from India and an MRCP from the U.K. practising in a semi-urban area, I feel it is not fair to blame doctors for not working in villages. Infrastructure in rural areas is poor and it is difficult to get a comfortable accommodation. In fact, most of the diseases prevalent in the villages are due to poor sanitation and lack of clean drinking water. It is the duty of the government to fulfil these requirements before blaming doctors. Anything that is forced upon them will not work in the long run. I am sure most of us will agree that villagers are in need of safe water, roads and basic needs more than an MBBS doctor to start with.
Despite investing in the National Rural Health Mission to strengthen the rural health sector we are unable to ensure proper health care for villagers, thanks to the unwillingness of elite MBBS doctors to reside and serve in the rural areas, citing poor infrastructure.
Mass production of MBBS doctors and compulsory rural posting are not practical solutions. The proposal to introduce a three-and-a-half year course, BRMS, to create an alternative cadre to serve in rural areas will serve the purpose better. Any hurdles posed in the way of the viable, realistic, MCI-approved scheme will slow down the objectives of the NRHM.