GUWAHATI, April 18 - Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu today said that the MBBS graduates should be given their first promotion after serving in rural areas, advocating that rural posting must be made mandatory.
�People are not willing to serve in rural areas despite the fact that 60 per cent of the country�s population is living in rural areas. Working in rural areas must be made mandatory and doctors serving in rural areas must be given preference in postgraduate medical courses,� he said.
Naidu asked Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to take the matter seriously.
The Vice President, who was speaking at the inaugural function of the Atal Amrit Abhiyan that facilitates cashless treatment to the people, said that manpower shortage must be addressed by the government and adequate medical infrastructure must be created. �If required, private players can also be encouraged with some regulation,� he said.
Naidu also referred to the low doctor-population ratio, besides the high infant and maternal mortality rates urging the State government to minimize the risk factors.
The Vice President said there was a need to create health coverage schemes that provide wide coverage to the young, aged and infirm, and those suffering from both critical acute and chronic ailments.
�It is estimated that�the number of Indians falling below the poverty line (BPL) due to health spending may run as high as 63 million, which is almost seven per cent of the nation�s population. The need of the hour is to safeguard people from this catastrophic health care expenditure while providing comprehensive care at the time of need,� Naidu pointed out.�
The Atal Amrit Abhiyan scheme seeks to provide access to quality medical care to 92 per cent of the total population of the State.
Governor Jagdish Mukhi, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and other dignitaries were present in the function.