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The Karnataka Health Department has decided to crack the whip on specifically on government quota students for mandatory service in rural areas after having been unable to push medical students at large to work in the less developed regions of the country. This decision comes in the face of the department struggling to fill 1400 posts in the village health centers.

Soon, the mandatory rural service rule will be only for those who have secured seats under the government quota. The state cabinet has approved the proposal to amend the Karnataka Compulsory Service Training by Candidates Completed Medical Courses Act, 2012, during the ongoing legislature session. Earlier, this service rule was applicable for all medical graduates including the management and NRI quota candidates. Later students obtained a court stay on it.

Principal Secretary, Health, and Family Welfare said the amended rule would not act as a hindrance in doctor recruitments in rural areas. “The vacancies are high in the specialist’s category. It will be a problem of plenty if all MBBS graduates are made to take up rural service. That is why we are amending the rule so that there will be a regular flow of doctors as government-quota students cannot forgo rural service,” she said.

An absence of a conducive atmosphere that includes assault by patients’ relatives and harassment by followers of local politicians has created a sense of fear among doctors,” said a senior official of the Karnataka Government Medical Officers’ Association. It is reported that doctors are willing to work on lower pay scales in smaller urban hospitals rather than taluk hospitals or primary health centers. Poor infrastructural facilities in rural areas and specialists having to function as medical officers are primary reasons that keep doctors away said the official. The Health Department in a special employment drive will recruit 3,274 paramedics, 736 nurses with Diplomas, 245 Nurses with B.Sc. Nursing qualification and 1,659 junior health assistants report in The Hindu News.

As studying medicine in India gets tougher due to limited seats and high capitation fee, a number of medical aspirants check out the options abroad to become qualified doctors. Although taking the overseas route in the healthcare industry has been in prevalence for quite some time, over the past few years there has been an average increase of about 10-15 percent increase in the number of students going abroad for studying medicine.

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