Striking medicos boycott Committee on rural posting

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Chennai, Nov 28 (UNI) The striking medicos in Tamil Nadu today boycotted the Dr Sambasiva Rao Committee, constituted by the Centre, to go into the issue of one year compulsory rural posting, even as Dr Rao said the report would be ready by the end of next month.

The Committee was in Chennai today to elicit the views of the medical fraternity on the issue.

Even as the Committee began its sitting, the medicos boycotted it stating that they have no faith in it as it did not contain any student representatives.

A representation was given to Dr Rao by the medicos opposing one year rural posting which they believe would extend the MBBS course by one year to 6-1/2 years.

Talking to reporters, he said after visiting North, North-East, Central and Western India, the Committee was on the last leg of hearing the views of the medical fraternity.

The Committee, which would cover 21 places in the country, would visit Puducherry before winding up its sitting in Andhra Pradesh.

He said one year rural posting was part of a scheme under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and was not a scheme devised by Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss.

He described as ''unfortunate'', the opposition to rural posting in Tamil Nadu and said he never faced any such opposition during its sitting in other regions of the country.

He said 29,000 students pass out every year from 270 colleges in the country. Rural exposure to medicos was necessary as 70 per cent of people live in rural areas. But 70 per cent of doctors serve in urban areas.

''We have to plug this rural-urban gap and reduce this disparity'', he noted.

He said though the medicos could get Rs 8,000 as stipend per month for rural posting, any hike in this regard could be worked out in coordination with the State government.

Dr Rao said the Committee would take the opinion of each and every person and would also convey the grievances of the medicos in his report to the Centre.

Meanwhile, the agitation by the medicos continued as they boycotted classes and staged a protest demonstration urging the Centre to drop the move.

Even as the Committee began its sitting at the Madras Medical College campus, the medicos shouted slogans against the Centre's move.

The Medicos were seen studying in a make-shift 'shamiana' erected at the MMC campus and were preparing their records.


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