Medical students graduating from government-run colleges are made to sign a bond to serve at a primary health center in a village for a year. This should be done within five years of obtaining their MBBS degree. If they fail to serve the bond, they must pay a penalty, which is a steep Rs 10 lakh for a plain vanilla MBBS doctor, Rs 50 lakh for postgraduates, and Rs 2 crore for super-specialty doctors.
Following the failure of serving the mandatory one year bond in rural areas, about 4,500 doctors have been recently declared quacks by Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER). With this, IMA Pune has showed its complete displeasure. IMA Pune has written to DMER expressing their unhappiness over the move.
However, since these 4,500 doctors violated their rural service bonds, their registration was cancelled. Post the objection raised by IMA, the DMER is now said to be reconsidering the earlier notification.
The retrospective effect of the notification is an injustice to the students of the batch of 2012-13, criticized IMA, Pune. The demand of applying similar compulsion for private medical college students was also made. Dr Prakash Marathe, President of IMA Pune, said, “Students would be more than happy to serve the bond in rural areas, provided the seat to serve in rural area is made available. We worry if they are not that should not lead to delay in pursing further study for these students.”
“If the government does not have enough number of vacancies to incorporate all these doctors then we fear how this will be implemented. We are not opposing the concept of serving in rural areas, but the fine that is put and denying higher education if one does not completes the bond should be rethought,” he added.