Andhra faces acute shortage of forensic doctors
Visakhapatnam: Despite having 21 PG seats in Forensic Medicine (FM) in 11 medical colleges in Andhra Pradesh, the state is facing acute shortage of forensic doctors as the entire state has only around 50 forensic doctors in government sector who are eligible to do autopsies.This has become a major concern for the state, as more than 25,000 autopsies are performed at various Government and...
Visakhapatnam: Despite having 21 PG seats in Forensic Medicine (FM) in 11 medical colleges in Andhra Pradesh, the state is facing acute shortage of forensic doctors as the entire state has only around 50 forensic doctors in government sector who are eligible to do autopsies.
This has become a major concern for the state, as more than 25,000 autopsies are performed at various Government and Vaidya Vidhana Parishad hospitals every year.
According to a recent media report in the Times of India, the medical officials have been roping MBBS doctors and others due to the insufficient number of forensic experts in the state. The daily adds that lack of interest on the part of the medicos have led to fewer number of students who opt for the course.
A PG student told Times of India, "The government should appoint more FM doctors in district hospitals. They appointed one doctor each in all 13 districts on a contract basis recently. When there is no scope for an FM doctor to grow up financially, nobody would take up this branch."
He added that no one would like to get tagged as a 'savala doctor' until they get a better salary and better facilities, since they perform a risky job where they deal with dead bodies.
According to a retired professor in forensic medicine, there are 551 forensic medicine PG seats in 192 colleges in the country out of which only 30 percent seats are filled every year. Many students do not choose the FM branch in many colleges.
The head of the department of forensic medicine and toxicology, Andhra Medical College, Dr V Chandra Sekhar, a retired major of the Indian Army, told TOI, "If you take the case of Andhra Medical College only 17 forensic medicine PGs joined and completed the course while 40 seats were available in the last one decade".
Telangana has over 27 PG seats in seven colleges in the FM branch. out of the 27 seats, there are 10 in Osmania Medical college and 5 in Gandhi college. However, only 25 percent to 30 percent of seats are filled every year. While in Andhra Pradesh out of the 21 seats, seven are in private colleges and the rest in six government medical colleges, reports the daily.
Dr Sekhar added, "The AMC in Vizag did not have a professor in the wing for almost six years from 2014 to 2020. Forensic medicine doctors should be given extra incentives like in a few other states which are giving 1000 to 2000 for each autopsy. Because there will not be any private practice for them unlike other doctors."
Revu is currently pursuing her masters from University of Hyderabad. With a background in journalism, she joined Medical Dialogues in 2021.