Hyderabad: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said that serving in rural areas should be made mandatory for doctors in the government sector before giving them their first promotion. Speaking at the 11th annual Medical Teachers’ Day awards function here, Naidu, pointing out that 60 per cent of the country’s population lives in the villages, said that three to five years of service in rural areas for young doctors was essential. Describing the medical profession as a noble mission, he advised doctors not to give any remission or commit omission, but to serve the nation with passion. Asking doctors to remember the core value of compassion for humanity in all their actions, he said, “Let that be your moral compass when in dilemma and always adhere to the highest level of ethics. If you can serve with a spirit of selfless dedication, you derive boundless and real happiness.”
Calling for the creation of state-of-the-art health infrastructure across the country, particularly in the rural areas, Naidu said the Covid pandemic had accentuated the need for better health infrastructure and advised the State governments to focus on this aspect. The Vice-President stressed the need to increase the number of medical colleges while referring to the government’s efforts to bridge the gap in the doctor-patient ratio in the country. He said the doctor-patient ratio was 1:1,456 as against the WHO norm of 1:1000. Expressing appreciation at the State government’s plan to establish at least one medical college in each district, he pointed out that the urban-rural ratio of doctors was also highly skewed with more medical professionals opting to work in urban areas.
Naidu also emphasised that both medical education and treatment should be affordable and within the reach of the common man. He said that top priority should be accorded to education and health sectors with a greater allocation of budget. Referring to the fast-changing technological world, he urged the medical colleges to ensure that those passing out of their portals stay abreast of the latest diagnostic and treatment systems. “This has become all the more imperative in the wake of the pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 as everything about the novel coronavirus is new learning to all – from scientists to doctors,” he added.