Compulsory Service for Doctors- Everything that won’t work

Posted by Shivangi Shankar
November 7, 2017

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We need more medical professionals. The dearth is glaring. To this, they say, since we need doctors let’s put the ones we have on a leash. They want to combat a dearth of doctors by further taking away his/her rights.

A doctor’s whole life gets planned out in his teenage owing to the state the affords him education. The bond of compulsory service ensures that either he cannot migrate by choice or he cannot afford to migrate leaving him no choice.

The problem with compulsory service, especially in rural areas, is that it creates a surplus of unspecialised healthcare professionals.There is a lack of supervision that only furthers the sense of futility. The very premise of compulsory service: The dearth exists because of the lack of infrastructure that compels medical professionals to leave the country or state. It exists because of the thankless nature of the job and a very real fear of stagnation.

Medical professionals are afforded no security. Their living conditions are pitiable. The accommodation and diet provided to doctors is often either ill maintained or unfit to begin with.  The payment they receive is grossly disproportionate in comparison to the workload which, officially, isn’t even their work and the only reason most people would stay is goodwill. And goodwill can be eroded when a person is under constant strain.

There is a general verdict that doctors have become dispassionate to subhuman levels as is evident with the increasing incidence of violence against doctors. Complaints of insensitivity on the healthcare providers’ part cannot coexist with this indifference to them as individuals. The onus to compensate for all the inadequacies of society cannot be placed only on a group of medical professionals. While this compulsion of service may or may not ensure availability of the doctor’s skill set for the masses, it does lead to sub-optimal performance.

We need to remember-
Exploitation of the human resource can be optimized only when the resource is treated as human.




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