Dr NTR University of Health Sciences has been allowed by the Andhra Pradesh medical education department to increase in-service post graduate medical seats quota from 30% to 50%. Only the candidates who have appeared in the Graduate Medical Entrance Test (PGMET) 2016 onwards are eligible for the quota. The quota is applicable to six sought-after specialties, including general medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, anesthesia, psychiatry and radio diagnosis.
Dr G Srinivas, TJUDA state president said, “We will not accept if the Telangana government hikes the in-service quota from 30% to 50% as it would spell doom for 6,500 non-service MBBS pass-outs, who form more than 80% of the aspirants appearing for PGMET every year.” He further added that he has requested Telangana director of medical education and health secretary with representations asking them to cancel the idea if they are planning for any such initiative.
As per the present reservation rule of the Telangana Government, 30% of PG medical seats (around 240) are reserved for MBBS passouts. They can work as civil assistant surgeons in rural primary health centres for two to three years span. The remaining seats which are somewhere around 560 are non-service quota seats, in which any MBBS passout can take up the job.
Ironically, even as the non-service quota is 70%, there is high competition for these seats. The seat to aspirant ratio for non-service quota is 1:10 while for in-service quota it’s around 1:2.
Dr Katti Bharat, advisor, AP Junior Doctors’ Association was of the view, “It is the era of specializations as plain MBBS passouts setting up a practice is long gone. Now, those aspiring for non-service PG quota medical seats in Andhra Pradesh have very bleak chances of bagging a clinical seat in the six specialities in any of the 25 medical colleges in the state.” Further he raised the question that how the Government of Andhra Pradesh can increase the quota of seats when the total number of clinical seats have not yet been increased.
Dr K V Pavan, former general secretary, APJUDA while emphasizing on the fact that hiked in-service quota is a conspiracy to hijack merit said, “The in-service quota concept was introduced by the government 15 years ago to attract doctors to rural PHCs, but the scene is different now with any medical post in government hospitals attracting hundreds of takers.”
Even Dr Pavan raised the question to the Andhra Pradesh Government that what is the process they have adopted to decrease the service quota seats from 50% to just 10% in non-clinical specialties like microbiology, pathology and anatomy which have very few takers in PGMET.
While the Telangana Medical Association was not able to come out from the earlier shock of the existing 30% quota for in-service PG medical seats, the decision taken by the Andhra Pradesh Government has left Doctors Association all the more rattled. NTR Health Varsity has got the supreme authority to every year conduct PGMET exam for both the states. The exam is conducted for medicos aspiring for PG seats in 45 colleges in AP and Telangana.