SC asks Centre: Frame policy on compulsory rural service for Doctors

SC Bench has asked Centre to frame a policy to make it mandatory for them to serve in public hospitals in rural areas for a certain period after passing out.

Supreme Court Bench comprising of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta added that,”Govt. spends huge money on each medical student. The condition is not illegal & arbitrary and is meant to ensure that specialist healthcare is extended to rural areas”.

As the conditions imposed by the States are not uniform and the compulsory service period varies from 2-5 years while bond amount is different across States & goes up to Rs 50 lakh, Court fixed the service period at two years & penalty at Rs 20 Lakh.

A student has to execute a bond at the time of admission to postgraduate & super speciality courses in government colleges that they would serve in public hospitals & health centres after completing the course.

Centre & Medical Council of India has been asked by the Court to frame a uniform policy to be applicable across the country.

Apex Court stated that,“Taking note of the fact that certain State Governments have rigid conditions in the compulsory bonds to be executed by the appellants (students)…, we suggest that suitable steps be taken by Centre & MCI to have a uniform policy regarding the compulsory service to be rendered by doctors who are trained in government institutions”.

Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Bengal have imposed provision for compulsory service.

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