Sunday, December 02, 2007

Medical College Strike.....

I remember the days in which my brother and sister had studied hard for the public exams and their only aim was to become a doctor. A lot of the students had, have and will have this aim of becoming a doctor. In the Indian society and the media, the profession of doctor is considered as one of the most prestigious and respected one.
But, the strike and the chaos that is happening in the Medical colleges breaks this image. The government has suggested a new policy which states that "The course duration for MBBS is extendedfrom 5.5 to 6.5 Years. In the additional 1 year, the doctors MUST work for 4 months in a Village Hospital 4 months in a Taluka Hospital 4 months in a District Hospital.A salary of Rs.8000 will be provided for the work period.
Government (Health Minister) has stated that this would help both the Government Hospitals and also the doctors. But, a majority of the students are against this policy. They are not ready to accept either the increase in the duration or the compulsory work system.
Government has created 'Sambasivan Committee' to discuss this issue with the students. Chennai medical college students have expressed the following points to the commitee:
1. Government is spending crores for the students of IIT and IIM. But the students go out of the country after the studies. When there is no rule to stop them, why should the government impose rules on Medical students?
2. If the government is ready to pay 25000 then the doctors would readily join the Village hospitals. There is no real necessity for this new policy. Why is the government not ready to do the change in salary but try to force the medical students to join the service?
3. In the Engineering degree, students get placed during their third year. They earn about 30000 (????) per month. Why is government imposing rules on the Medical students?
I think the points mentioned by the students are all - actually - pointless. The course content and nature of work is totally different for the engineering graduates. There should not be any comparison between them. Also, Health ministry has brought this reform. There is no point in blaming the Health Ministryfor Brain drain, IIT and IIMs.
Also, we know that there are sevaral Village and Taluk hospitals which lack doctors. This reform could really be helpful for those hospitals. Then the issue regarding the salary....Well..I am not good enough to make any comments on salary....
The only valid argument is that the duration is already long and increase in one year will be difficult for the students. But, considering the nature of the work which deals with the lives of people, I thinkthere is nothing wrong if the students could have real time experience in the hospitals. Even in theengineering courses, which are not life impacting (except in a few occasions) there are real timeprojects which extend from 6 months to 1 year. So, I do not think there is anything wrong in the compulsory program.
Still, I feel that the health ministry could have handled this issue in a better way. It is a well known fact that any issues/reforms will have a political flavor in our country. The Health ministry has appointed a commission now to discuss this with the students. This could have been done earlier.Also, instead of immediate enforcements, Government could have brought them in a step-by-step manner.For example:
1. For 2 - 3 years, Govenment can announce that the scholarships would be provided for the students only if they under go this service.
2. Then, there would be preferences in the government Hospital appointments for the students with this service.
3. Then, students without this service could not join the Government hospitals.
4. The students below such and such score in practicals(say 90%...most would fall under this category) must go attend this service.
5. All the above policies could have been enforced in Government colleges and sponsored colleges initially and then slowly extended to other colleges.
Such step-by-step measures will not create a mass impact on the students.....


Saravana Pandi said...

Well said..I heard some comments from one of the mbbs students..

Their statements.

1. The govt won t give you any course completion certficates util u finish your 6.5 yrs. The thing is mbbs students are willing to work in villages, once they are guaranteed for govt jobs. There is not enough promise from govt side.
Even they may started to drag the services to poor without any good compensation or the govt job. Just by using final yr students every year they may get votes by telling the poor "We have given service to poor". And there is some anticipation that they never join in private hospitals which give good salay. some rumours also there Reliance has got some approval from govt for their hospitals. One the hospitals are opened they will employ the foreign doctors(As you know most of the private hospitals does not rewuire mbbs only). and even they can charge more money from people by using their insurance strategy.

2. One commitee called samb...(I froget the name) asked the opinions from several colleges.
They even reported only southern collges are against this service. the thing is North side collges are not enitrely aware of this and they are thinking the policy applies to only tamil nadu. Rememeber the comitee is formed by anbumani and Tamilnadu has the highest no of Govt Medical colleges( Namely 14).

3. Tamil Nadu C.M told the reporters, the students met him personally in secratriat office, and they promised to withdraw the strike. what happened really, was the college DEAN, and some other professors persuaded the students to meet the c.m by telling some false promises. Before meeting the c.m, on the entrace hall of secratriat office the students are threatend by the professors and DEAN like this, Your internal marks will be reduced and even you may fail, and We will file a FIR against you. and your hostels will be closed.

4. I don t think 6.5 yrs is necessary for all studies. Most of colleges does not have adequate equipments and facilites for treatment. Govt should provide need first. What s the use of going to villages without having good medicines.

Finally It s worthless decision made by the govt which will further hurt the students

Baranidharan said...

May be overall time period is worrying the doctors. By the time they finish the course it is about 7 years.. by then an engineer of their age would have earned 15-20 lakhs, it is clear that everyone wants to earn. Your idea of giving preference to those who went for village service is good. May be 8000 is less.. 25000 no MBBS fresher will get this amount.. even if they start clinic or join a private hostpital for intial period

On the other hand, how can goverment leave the people lifes with the bunch of rookies with out being supervised.... is that goverment strategy to have something rather than nothing

Sarangan Rajamanickam said...


I do not know why you are so much against the reliance group. If they are planning to start the hospitals then let them start. Let the people who can afford go to them. If people do not like them or their cost, let them not go. Howz that impacting the doctors?

I do accept that the committee has not covered enough colleges. That is the mistake from the Government.

Well..the threat of professors and the facilities of tamilnadu hospitals..... After all we live in India..We have to manage with them.

But still I think th policy is not as bad as you sound. After all, we have compulsory military service in england.....

Sarangan Rajamanickam said...

@barani anna
Yes..7 years seems to be long. But the nature of their work and as they deal with the lives of the people justifies it....also, in the long run the money in the first 3 years might not make any difference at all...

Actually, Government might plan to keep them monitored r8...I am not sure...But something better than nothing. Even if there is no policy, they will go out and start a clinic..even then people wil be at the hands of the same rookies.. so the situation is still the same.

Siva said...

I don't know where to start. I find almost every argument troubling.

1. The govt mandating all the students to serve 1 year is wrong. In fact stupid.
Your suggestion no.3 seems reasonable. The govt decides who they want to recruit. If someone wants a govt job they have to work in a village for sometime. (I think this is already there, a new dr will be usually appointed a village) But that shouldn't be part of graduation. The rest of the students will do what they wanted to do. Earn money, travel abroad whatever.

2. I am not convinced by any of the other suggestions you have.

3. The arguments of the students are silly too. Why not IIM, IITs sound something like a child would say. Your argument of curriculum being different and health ministry doing this is something like a parent's 'chappa kattu'.

The salary argument is of the same variety. they chose the wrong field. Simple.

4. If some one says 6.5 years is too much then here is what a US doctor will do
4 years of undergrad
4-5 year of doctorate
3-5 years of residency and
a board exam. (you are still not a specialist like a heart surgeon. but you will have a speaciality from the residency)