Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss' opposition to the three-and-a-half year course to train doctors for rural service (Feb. 27) will only strengthen the lobby of healthcare professionals who believe that doctors are accountable only to themselves, not to society. The alternative cadre will be trained in basic medicine, surgery, first aid, management of emergencies and referrals for specialist care.

R. Pradeep Chakaravarthi,

Omalur

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Most rural hospitals do not have even the basic facilities. Doctors end up seeing as many as 100 patients a day without any diagnosis or treatment. The least the government can do is make available essential medicines and laboratory facilities in rural hospitals.

The salary too needs to be revised to motivate medical graduates to work in villages. Doctors are also human and wish to lead a normal life with basic facilities. We can produce any number of doctors but we cannot motivate them to work in villages unless we address the basic issues.

K.P. Harsha,

Bangalore

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I am a doctor hailing from a village. My two sons are also doctors and are willing to work in villages if they are paid a decent salary. Working in villages would be a pleasure for doctors if their financial needs are met. I wonder why policymakers never think of paying rural doctors more than the doctors in cities.

M. Manickavasagam,

Chennai