Mumbai: The Director Medical Education and Research (DMER), has for the first time made it mandatory for doctors completing their MBBS education from private medical colleges of Maharashtra and falling under the reserved categories, to serve a one-year-bond in rural areas. This has been done keeping in mind the diminishing health care services reaching rural interiors of the country.
The DMER has made the rule effectively mandatory from the assessment year 2018-19 in all private medical colleges in the state. Failure to abide will cost reserved category doctors a penalty close to Rs. 50 lakh, which is inclusive of a fee paid along with interest to the state authorities reports Pune Mirror.
Presently, the rule is applicable to all MBBS pass outs of Government Medical Colleges of the state. However, a new rule by the DMER now brings into the ambit students of reserved category from private medical colleges. The rule submitted to the state government has already been approved.
The government which bears the expenses of reserved categories like SC, ST studying UG courses at private medical colleges, now expects them to do their bit by offering their services to the rural poor by serving a 1-year bond. Till now only those having passed out of Government Medical College were expected to express their gratitude.
The bond penalty at a Government Medical College is Rs 10 lakh for an MBBS student, Rs 50 lakh for post-graduates and Rs 2 crore for super-speciality doctors.
“In the last two decades, we never bothered about making the bond mandatory to the students of reserved category, but in the last couple of years, the scenario has changed. The reserved category students earlier voluntarily went to serve in the rural parts but they have now stopped doing it,” Dr Pravin Shingare, DMER told Pune Mirror. “Students these days do not opt for government college seats despite securing excellent marks so that they don’t have to serve the bond. The observation of this drastic change in the last couple of years has forced us to make the bond mandatory for them.”
There are 450 MBBS reserved category seats in the 16 private medical colleges of the state. The government spends around Rs 40 lakh for the MBBS degree for a single medical student belonging to the reserved category.
Dr Suchitra Nagre, Trustee and Director, Maharashtra Institute of Medical Education and Research, told Pune Mirror, “We welcome the new move. The strong implementation of the rule in the system will definitely help in a long run. Super-speciality doctors don’t want to work in the rural parts and so MBBS doctors will definitely be a better option for the government in these areas.”
Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported that the DMER is also planning that to extend compulsory rural service to even those students in private medical colleges who are studying under scholarships