Clearing the MBBS course to become a doctor is tough. But after four and a half years of gruelling study and examinations, the vast majority of those who qualify to become doctors cannot find a decent job. While some struggle to set up private practice, many others can remain unemployed for three, four or more years.
Now, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) is preparing a petition to the government to consider the plight of these highly-educated youngsters and guarantee them work at a suitable pay.
“We plan to meet Ghulam Nabi Azad, union minister for health and family welfare, to ask the government to post these newly-qualified doctors in the rural areas and ensure they get a good pay,” Dr N Appa Rao, chairman of the IMA National Leaders Forum, told dna on Saturday. They expect a salary of at least Rs50,000 monthly.
According to the association, every year about 70,000 candidates complete the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery course from colleges across the country, but only about 5,000 get a chance to pursue post-graduation. Many try hard to carry on with their studies, but the seats are limited. Those who do manage to get jobs at private hospitals are paid peanuts. Others struggle to set up private practice. Yet many remain unemployed for even up to five years.
“After working hard for five years to get a medical degree, these young people ought to be provided proper jobs with a good pay, at least initially. The rural areas require doctors and the government can help these newcomers by posting them there,” Rao said. IMA has a membership of over 2,00,000 allopathic doctors. It also wants the government to increase the number of seats for post-graduation to enable candidates to specialise in the area of their choice.
Dr Anil Pachekar, president of IMA’s Maharashtra chapter, said, “This is the true situation, but people think doctors only make money out of this business. But there is cut-throat competition. Everyone is working hard, but many cannot find jobs. If this goes on, medical field aspirants will be dissuaded.”