Mumbai: The Grant Medical College attached to JJ hospital in Byculla does not have any vital information on students of the college completing the bond service or on a collection of penalty by erring ones over the years, says a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report, based on an inspection conducted.
The report reveals that the college has next to no information about rural service appointments, on college pass outs from the batches between 1998 to 2005.
The September 2016 inspection of CAG also discovered that the situation was not much different in the following years when the penalty sum had been doubled.
The observation in the report states that of the 1,796 MBBS students who entered the institute between 2007 and 2015 a mere 709 (40%) were made to sign the bond papers.
The report of the Auditor General also stated that 1,090 students were yet to submit their bonds. Amrut Bang of NGO NIRMAN, blamed the lacunae existing in the medical education system to be responsible for non-honouring of bonds by students of medicine, reports TOI.
Little is known about the 1,612 students who passed out between 1998 and 2005. It is the responsibility of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), that looks after all state medical colleges to submit a list of successful pass outs to the Directorate of Health Services (DHS), which in turn looks after matters related to healthcare delivery in the state.
Postings of medical graduates or bond candidates as they are known to primary health centres, rural, sub-district and district hospitals are to be decided by the DHS.
The DMER, Head, Dr. Praveen Shingare contended that it would be wrong to assume that all students have escaped the bond service, in the face of missing records on appointments.
“While the CAG expects us to provide a list of how many students have completed the bond service, we cannot do so till DHS tells us how many they have hired on a yearly basis in these years,” he said. The two arms of healthcare in the state lack coordination are the reason given for no record being available on students and the poor implementation of the bond scheme.
Dr Satish Pawar, Head, DHS, had told TOI that of the 2,400 MBBS graduates who qualify every year, not more than 500 turn up for rural postings. Postgraduates are being held responsible for setting the precedent of not signing bond papers, allegedly, to not allow the state to leverage it against them during strikes. This seems to have impacted the MBBS lot too.
Dr Shingare, however, stated that the non-signing of bonds by students holds little significance, as the government resolution makes bond service compulsory,
A new software about to be released is meant to overcome the gap between the DMER and DHS. Transparency in all postings would reflect online, and a record would also be maintained on whether the student had completed his or her bond service