Chennai, Nov 29 (UNI) Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, who has been the target of criticism for his move to make one year rural posting compulsory for medicos, has got support for his proposal from none other than former President A P J Abdul Kalam.
The eminent missile scientist, speaking at a function here last evening, had exhorted the medical students to serve one year in rural areas.
He told students to go to PHCs and help the people in villages.
''There are at least 6,00,000 villages in India where about 750 million people live with little access to medical facilities.
Providing these areas with medicare is very important,'' he added.
''Every student should try to help at least 50 patients in rural areas during his MBBS course,'' Dr Kalam said adding it was important for all doctors to be patient-friendly and provide affordable treatment to the poor.
Dr Anbumani's proposal of one-year compulsory rural service for medicos to take health care to the poor under the National Rural Health Mission had not gone well with the medical students in Tamil Nadu, who were opposing the move on the ground that it would extend the MBBS course by one year from five-and-a-half years to six-and-a-half years.
Meanwhile, the medicos, opposing the Centre's move continued their agitation. They had been boycotting classes and staging demonstrations condemning the Centre's move.
Despite the Union Minister's assertion that a final decision on one-year rural stint would be taken after receipt of the report of the Dr Sambasiva Rao committee, formed by the Centre to go into the issue, the medicos stuck to their guns.
The medicos, under the banner of Tamil Nadu Medical Students and House Surgeon's Council, also boycotted Committee's sitting yesterday and chose to submit a memorandum to Dr Rao opposing the one-year rural posting.
Though the medicos had earlier called off their fast after the intervention of the Chief Minister, they said their other forms of agitation like boycott of classes would continue till the Centre drop the move.