The State government is working on a policy to incentivise rural service by doctors, Minister for Health and Family Welfare K. Sudhakar has said.
Delivering the 11th convocation address of JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research (JSSAHER) here on Wednesday, he said the government would also give them early promotions.
“If a doctor working in Bengaluru is promoted after six years of service, a doctor serving in Yadgir will be promote in three years”, said Mr Sudhakar adding that the government was committing to removing the disparity in medical facilities between urban and rural areas so that healthcare reaches all.
Also, the State government was planning to appoint 2,500 new doctors from various medical disciplines through direct recruitment by the Department of Health and Family Welfare. This will also help provide healthcare to all nooks and corners of the State.
Referring to the disparities in availability of healthcare personnel in rural and urban areas, Mr. Sudhakar said medical facilities are concentrated in urban areas. “70 per cent of the healthcare professional like to live in urban areas, but 70 per cent of the country’s population lives in rural areas or villages.”
Mr. Sudhakar, who is also the Minister for Medical Education, said the government has introduced compulsory rural service scheme for medical graduates and postgraduates from this year. “About 2,500 graduates and postgraduates, after completion of their course, should work in government facilities or in those places where the government posts them for a minimum period of 12 months.”
Pointing out that a few doctors had challenged the government’s policy, Mr Sudhakar appealed to them to withdraw the case from the court and work in rural areas, which will help them earn a lot of goodwill for the rest of their lives.
Contending that the government was committed to build a robust healthcare system in the State by concentrating on primary and secondary healthcare instead of tertiary care, Mr. Sudhakar said Karnataka had just one doctor for every 11,000 to 12,000 population against the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of one doctor for every 1,000 people. Also, the 1.1 bed for every 1,000 population is grossly insufficient against the global average of 2.7 beds for every 1,000 population.
Mr. Sudhakar also pointed out that there was an acute shortage of paramedical medical staff in the State. So, he said the number of seats and colleges imparting paramedical education should increase. “Every teaching hospital should have a nursing and paramedical institution”, he said adding that increasing the number of paramedical institutions will help make healthcare robust.
A total of 1,436 students were conferred their degrees on the occasion including the 52, who had shared 72 gold medals and awards. Due to the pandemic, only the gold medal winners and awardees were among the in-person recipients at the convocation held at Suttur Mutt. The convocation, however, was live-streamed.
Seer of Suttur Mutt Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji, Pro-Chancellor of JSSAHER B. Suresh, and Vice-Chancellor of JSSAHER Surinder Singh were present on the occasion.