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'AIIMS producing doctors for export'

The health minister says AIIMS is becoming a factory for producing doctors for foreign countries and not for the poor Indians.

delhi Updated: Aug 29, 2007 19:58 IST

Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss has fired another salvo in his war of words with All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) authorities, saying that the premier institute was slowly becoming a "doctors' factory" for foreign countries and not for the needy Indians.

"Over 60 per cent of the AIIMS passouts are going outside India. It's becoming a doctors' factory that is producing talent for foreign countries and not for the poor Indians," Ramadoss said.

"They pay a few hundred rupees as tuition fee for a whole year as against lakhs of rupees paid by the students studying the same course elsewhere," the minister told IANS on the sideline of an official function in New Delhi on Tuesday.

He blamed the AIIMS administration by saying that authorities were not trying to set things right.

"When these students are getting highly subsidised education, why are they going aboard? They are getting quality education and huge exposure here and going out to serve outside."

"They go out of the country and never come back. We will have to do something about this," the minister claimed.

Asked about his not signing certificates of hundreds of post-graduate doctors, Ramadoss said: "The AIIMS Act says degrees should be conferred on the convocation day. Can the institute administration explain why they have not had a single convocation in the last two years?"

Health ministry officials said many of those complaining about not getting degrees are the ones wanting to go abroad.

"With so many people in rural India suffering from several diseases, why these doctors cannot serve their own country? They want to get subsidised education and want to go abroad to mint money after being trained," said a ministry official.

"Is government spending money on them for this?" he asked.

AIIMS is also the top government hospital of the country that treats over 8,000 patients every day including nearly 6,000 in its OPDs.

Over 500 resident doctors of AIIMS were on strike since Tuesday evening to protest the non-receipt of their post-graduate degrees despite some of them having passed out two years ago.

"I think junior doctors at AIIMS are concentrating more on the strike and less on patient care. It's unfortunate," Ramadoss said.

Some resident doctors admitted they were facing problems in going abroad as they were yet to get their formal degrees.

"I have applied for a higher course in Australia but don't think I will be able to make it. They are asking for the original degree but we are yet to get it," said an AIIMS resident doctor who passed out in July 2005.