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"Mayawati Government's Decision Will Improve Medical Teaching": Prof. Rama Kant
By Amit Dwivedi
Special Contribution
Prof. Rama Kant

The Uttar Pradesh government has taken a cabinet decision to hike the salary of doctors of Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University (CSMMU), (formerly King George's Medical College or KGMC) to be at par with Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS). The UP cabinet has also allowed CSMMU doctors to pursue private practice by opting for long term contractual appointment at a fixed salary, UP Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said. The doctors undertaking private practice would however, not be allowed to hold any administrative post.

CSMMU doctors have faced decades of neglect by being deprived of facilities and being one of the most lowly paid government doctors in the country. Till now, these doctors at CSMMU were not even getting the University Grants Commission (UGC) pay-scale.

However despite of the meagre resources, the institution and its Gandhi Memorial & Associated Hospitals (GM & AH) have been providing healthcare services to one of the largest numbers of patients in India.

"On academic front, CSMMU has seen a commendable rise of 40 percent in the number of research paper publications. In past year more than 220 medical research publications in various indexed journals of repute took place, which is a landmark in the country" said Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, who is the President of the CSMMU Medical Teachers' Association. Professor (Dr) Rama Kant was awarded the World Health Organization (WHO)'s award in 2005.

Professor (Dr) Rama Kant has been spearheading a peaceful non-violent agitation of medical doctors in CSMMU for years to bring government's attention to the issues faced by the faculty. Thankfully owing to the mounting pressure, the government has finally responded.

"One of my major concerns is definitely protecting the integrity of medical teaching" said Professor (Dr) Rama Kant.

He feels that the lure of material and corporate world is undeniably strong and is taking young potential doctors away to corporate hospitals, otherwise who might have been keen to go in medical teaching. It is vital to protect the sanctity of medical university teaching, and make it reasonably lucrative to retain good potential teachers.

Also medical university teachers are often at the forefront of medical research, especially clinical research. So it is vital to expose them to social and public health domains to further their own understanding in making research more sensitive to community's health needs and concerns, said Prof Rama Kant.

Prof Rama Kant who was also elected as President of College of Surgeons (LCS) last year, complemented the UP government's decision and said it will go a long way in improving quality medical teaching and retaining healthcare professionals, and will certainly strengthen healthcare response in the state.

The author is a Special Correspondent, Citizen News Service (CNS).

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