Devise scheme to attract doctors to practice in rural areas: Bombay HC to Maharashtra government

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today emphasized the need for Maharashtra government to devise a scheme to attract doctors to practice in rural and tribal areas of the state. A division bench of Justices N H Patil and G S Kulkarni was hearing a bunch of petitions raising the issue of malnutrition among children living in the tribal belt of the state and the lack of medical facilities in these areas.

Taking note of the fact that district and smaller medical centres do not have proper facilities, including lack of doctors, the court said there has to be some incentive for doctors to go and serve in such areas.

“Nobody wants to go to such remote areas where they know they will not get basic things like drinking water, toilets and so on. Attraction is in urban areas. Social activists go to such areas but a professional would only like to focus on his career,” Justice Patil said.

The court said the state government should hold discussions with doctors’ associations or organisations on this issue. “Devise some scheme by which even doctors feel like there is some benefit in practising in rural areas,” the court told additional government pleader Neha Bhide.

It also suggested that if there was shortage of doctors in Maharashtra then the government could look into appointing doctors from other states. The bench said the state government could rope in corporate firms to provide equipment and other logistical support to medical centres.

The court posted the petitions for further hearing on June 19.

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