Previous some years have been full of impediments for the medical students whether they are MBBS doctors or dentists or physiotherapists. Government attitude towards medicos with its self styled policies and decisions could be perhaps taken as a routine approach whereby they first thrill the public by stretching over the maximum capacity in the medical courses despite an already limping infrastructure. As far as the grilling component is concerned it has been well illustrated by the events that happened in the passing years. Marked by massive protests and strikes by the medicos starting from the strike launched by the Junior Doctor Association(JDA) regarding their pay anomalies in the 6th pay commission and the post graduation stipend while the government looked quite helpless and kept putting forth the lack of funds as an excuse. After the issue was some how clenched by the government the new cracker that erupted was concern of possible De-Recognition of Govt. Dental College Jammu due to massive deficiency of teaching infrastructure and astonishing as it may sound , non availability of a Principal for the college ,the post of kept waiting for a full time principal for a long period.
As soon as it subsided, the unfortunate and limping health and medical infrastructure was marred by another protest of physiotherapists who were facing wrath of unemployment, thanks to the false assurances of the Government and their senseless recruitment of hundreds of physiotherapy students despite scanty posts for their absorption. There is hardly any doubt that the politics driven system played with the emotions of the common medical aspirant by first permitting massive admissions to physiotherapy colleges despite knowing that our state had meager resources to absorb the same, a step which was purely subject to vote bank politics and then getting their hands up when it came to answer their ill deeds. One may question the policy makers to justify the issue of such medicos with respect to the production-absorption equilibrium.
Now when one could have asked for no more professional blunders by non professional political brains, another missile stood ready to be launched by increasing seats for MBBS in the medical colleges of the state. The political think tanks are all set to repeat history of physiotherapists under the roof of medical colleges just to win public applaud. It is hard to believe how the medical colleges who are constantly at threat of De-Recognition by Medical Council of India due to lack of adequate teaching staff and or infrastructure could bear the load of more perhaps almost double the strength that it is carrying at present. Our medical education system which is hardly sufficient to support current strength of the batches of MBBS and post graduation courses and in fact needs much more to bring it to the optimum level is going to be overloaded and believing that it will function smoothly without hampering the quality of medical studies is something hard to take in.
Perhaps the drivers of medical education system who are far from related to the profession are unable to make out that what is needed more desperately is improvement in quality of medical education and that quantifying the problem is going to fetch more trouble. It is nothing but the superficial vision of the government, which is unable to perceive far than the surface of the problem. Every time a question about problems in the health and medical system emerges, all that the government can think of is banning private practice and increasing medical seats. In fact the problem lies deeper. With the limited lot of good specialist doctors in the state, banning private practice of doctors in off duty hours actually amounts to preventing the needy patient from seeking the consultation of their doctor, which they were not able to reach because of long line of patients in the hospital. It actually deprives the patient of visiting a doctor of his choice and the concerned specialty, which he could have done by going to the doctor’s clinic by paying a sum of a hundred rupees or so. The delusion that the political intelligentsia has is that increasing the number of doctors will eliminate the problems in health system but actually this is going to massively damage the healthcare services indirectly. The shortage of doctors is actually a dilemma. In actual there are hundred of doctors in the state who are jobless because the government has failed to recruit doctors through public service commission for years forcing many doctors to migrate outside the state for better opportunity. Overall it seems that the government is not serious in understanding the root cause of hurdles in the health and medical education system, all they care about is gaining political mileage.
As far as the common man is concerned, he is not concerned about finding a doctor as much as he is concerned about finding a proficient doctor. It is high time for the government to understand that increasing the burden on an already rickety structure can deteriorate the situation. Health setup of every state is its lifeline and playing with it can have disastrous implications .it is imperative for any developing organization to rectify the loopholes and deficiencies in its existing setup and try to optimize it before taking the next leap forward.
1. Former State President , Health Wing, NSUI(J&K).
2. Co-Editor, Editorial Board,Govt, Medical College Jammu.
3. Member, Drug Information Center,GMC Jammu.
4. Columnist & Freelance Writer.
5. Member ADR Monitoring Cell, GMC Jammu.