DMER’s decision on cancellation of licenses recieves backlash from doctors
The recent punitive action taken by the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) against doctors in the State for not having served in the rural areas for a year post completion of their graduation, has received severe backlash from the doctors community.
The doctors assert that they were willing to serve in rural areas but were not assigned postings as they termed the DMER action against doctors illegal.
Being Doctors, an NGO, has taken up the cause of such doctors whose registrations stand cancelled and have been asked to pay a penalty of up to Rs 2 crore depending on their qualifications.
Terming the decision as arbitrary and draconian, the doctors’ body has in turn pointed out that in fact DMER was negligent in assigning doctors their postings. The doctors have stated that they voluntarily signed the bond and were willing to serve it but no communication was received from the DMER post completion of their respective courses.
Being Doctors has staunchly opposed the punitive move and has appealed to the DMER to reconsider its decision.
“At the outset we wish to stress that no doctor is averse to serving the bond. The doctors have willingly signed the bond and anticipated working for a year in the rural areas wherever posted. The GR requires authorities to assign doctors under the bond with postings within a specified duration after the declaration of their results. However except for a few, a majority of the doctors did not receive any communication regarding their postings and, eventually went their ways and began practicing. The DMER’s decision has come as a shock and the doctors are being penalized for no fault of their own,” says Dr Deepak Chaturvedi, President, Being Doctors.
The doctor community has expressed its desire to work inclusively with the Government at resolving the issue.
“The government implementation of a good scheme was poor. Lack of infrastructure and inability to identify doctors’ postings based on their skills or capabilities caused the failure in executing the scheme,” says Dr Nilima Vaidya Bhamare, Secretary, Being Doctors.
“The controversy has painted a very negative picture of doctors. The portrayal that we are running away from our duty is just not true. The reason why many of us could not serve the one year bond was procrastination on part of the authority in delegating the postings. Whether it is recovering penalties or implementation of the bond, it has to be executed within a limited period of time. We have been jolted with the sudden and aggressive action taken by DMER,” adds Dr Bhamare.
“Those who did get posted to rural areas have complained of having to face the ire of patients and their families for lack of required facilities. Even the primary health centres are required to maintain a minimum basic infrastructure, smooth supply of medicines and other facilities, which in most of the rural regions are rare. We are pained that the department has turned a blind eye towards these shortcomings but threaten doctors with harsh consequences including making them loose their livelihoods. This is not fair. We request the Government to take a pragmatic look at the situation and request it to reconsider the decision,” concludes Dr Snehal Bhange, Joint Secretary, Being Doctor.