BENGALURU: The Indian Medical Association's (IMA) Karnataka chapter, has finalised a health manifesto after consulting with its 177 branches across the state and will be submitting it to presidents of all political parties on Friday.
Karnataka IMA president HN Ravindra told The New Indian Express that they will be extending their support to any political party that agrees to incorporate their demands in their manifesto.
Their demands include five per cent reservation in medical colleges for those medical students who agree to serve in rural areas, the passage of an Anti-Quackery Bill, a scheme to provide interest-free loans and land for doctors who want to start medical establishments, and stringent implementation of the non-bailable clause if found guilty under the Karnataka Prohibition of Violence against Medicare Service Personnel and Damage to Property in Medicare Service Institutions Act 2009.
They also want IMA to be taken into confidence for any health policy introduced in the state, and have pushed for direct recruitment of doctors and paramedics by the director of health department along the lines of Tamil Nadu model as against the current system of recruitment through Karnataka Public Service Commission that takes at least three years for recruitment.
Karnataka has 1,01,273 doctors and an allopathic doctor to population ratio of 1:13,257. The numbers could be much higher with the 2022 census giving us a sense of an actual rise in population. The state has 8,225 seats in all medical colleges put together. The state ahs 1,000-1,500 posts vacant in the health department and 1,000 posts vacant in the medical education department. There is a great dearth of specialists across all medical specialties in the state.
Dr HN Ravindra said, "Those who are aspiring to be doctors will opt for this quota even if it means serving in rural areas. That way their dream of being a doctor will be fulfilled but the state will also get specialists and doctors to fill posts. We need doctors and paramedics in community health centres and taluk hospitals too."
"Since corporate hospitals are expensive to get treatment, highly trained specialised doctors who want to start hospitals and serve the society can do so if the state provides assistance in the form of resources like land and interest-free loans. Hence, we want a scheme initiated in this regard. The modalities about how much financial assistance the state can provide can be worked out later," he added.