The Centre and the Medical Council propose to start a short-term three-and-a-half year’s medical course throughout India to help the rural population. The reason for this is lack of doctors to serve in rural and remote areas. This is a retrograde step. The present four-and-a-half year’s MBBS course with one year compulsory internship is a bare minimum qualification for a basic doctor. There should not be two grades of basic doctors. There are very few areas with shortage of doctors. To overcome this, doctors should be given liberal incentives to serve in rural areas. There should be minimum 30 per cent reservation in post-graduate medical courses for those who have worked for two years in rural areas.
I happened to see recently people who could afford to buy a television standing in queue to collect the free colour television sets of the government. Many had come in cars to collect the sets. Just a photo copy of the ration card makes one eligible for the free TV sets. Asked what they would do with the second TV set they said they would keep them in their bedrooms. Every additional TV set will consume additional electricity. The state is already reeling under severe shortage of electricity. The government should discuss threadbare the pros and cons of a scheme before it is floated.
I am a senior citizen and a cardiac patient. I had a bad experience in K.G. Complex, Coimbatore, on February 1. My health is being monitored in K.G. Hospital since 1995 at regular intervals. As usual, I went to the hospital with my wife for a routine check-up. The cardiologist advised me to undergo an angiogram which costs nearly Rs. 15,000. Instead of going to the State Bank of India ATM booth near the railway station, I went to the Indian Bank branch in K.G. Complex to save time. I operated the ATM machine in the manner adopted in the SBI booth. But the system was different and my ATM card slipped and got trapped in the machine.
Immediately I approached the manager and the staff of the bank for help. They did not heed my request for urgent need for cash and went about with their routine business. I requested them to get me the card back so that I could go to the SBI booth.
The manager after getting my written undertaking entered the booth and opened the machine where I saw nearly a dozen cards of different banks. I got my card after a struggle of one hour and by then my heart beat had risen considerably. Finally my angiogram was done before 5 p.m.
Gudalur. (Readers can mail to cbereaders@ thehindu.co.in with address and phone number)