Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union minister for health and family welfare lamented that despite a host of incentives and facilities, medicos continue to balk at the prospect of practicing in rural areas.
"To increase the availability of doctors in rural areas, we have brought important changes in Medical Council of India regulations. Now there is 50% reservation of seats in post-graduate (PG) diploma courses for medical officers working in rural areas," Mr Azad said while speaking at the 13th annual convocation of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), in Bangalore.
He said that these incentives have not helped and added that the major challenge before the government is to provide healthcare to the poor and to reach the rural and remote areas of the country.
RGUHS, varsity vice-chancellor Dr Ramananda Shetty also spoke on the occasion and said the University had focused on rural areas in the last few years by setting up cancer detection centers in the backward areas of North Karnataka.