Rural medical officers (RMOs) in Punjab have announced a strike on Thursday in support of their demand for in-service quota for admission in postgraduate courses. Around 1,200 doctors are working under the department of rural development and panchayats.
A press release issued by the Rural Medical Services Association said the state health department was depriving them of their legitimate right. "The PG quota was introduced for motivating doctors to go into rural areas and not just to create specialists," said association president Dr Aslam Parvez.
The doctors have appealed to the chief minister to intervene in the matter.Dr Parvez said they would soon hold a dharna outside the Punjab civil secretariat against the principal secretary, health, Vini Mahajan, who had allegedly opposed the benefit of in-service quota for admission in PG courses to rural doctors..
One RMO each is posted in every dispensary catering to 7 to 10 villages or 10,000 to 12,000 of the rural population. Protesting RMOs have already stopped sending weekly and monthly reports to the health department, which is responsible for running 1,186 dispensaries in rural areas.