Those breaching the bond could face 5-yr jail and cancellation of degrees
Nagpur: In a major move aimed at bridging doctor-patient gap in rural areas, Maharashtra Government has decided to reserve 10% of MBBS and 20% of medical post-graduation seats for those in-service doctors who are ready to work in rural areas for five and seven years respectively. The State Government has offered the quota albeit with stringent condition. Those failing to work in state-run hospitals could face jail term of five years and even cancellation of their degrees.
The State Cabinet on Monday approved the decision and decided to introduce a Bill called Maharashtra Designation of Certain Seats in medical colleges of government and municipal corporations, in the legislature. The new bill when passed will enable the state government to keep some medical seats reserved for the candidates who are voluntarily willing to provide their services at government hospitals on a long term basis. The State moves has been aimed at tackling the scarcity of doctors in government hospitals specially hospitals in rural/tribal areas and the areas with difficult terrain. Those securing seats under this quota will have to execute a bond. Those breaching this bond could face imprisonment for five year and cancellation of their degrees.
According to preliminary estimates, 450-500 MBBS seats could be earmarked under the reservation while the number of post-graduation seats for in-service MBBS graduates could be around 300.
The move evoked mixed response from experts, mainly because of the state’s failure to implement the existing service bond effectively. All MBBS and PG students studying in the government medical colleges are supposed to serve a mandatory one year bond after completion of each degree failing which the MBBS students have to pay a hefty penalty of Rs 10 lakh, PG doctors Rs 50 lakh and super-speciality candidates Rs 2 crore. However, statistics reveal that less than 10% candidates proceed to finish the bond or even pay the penalty.