Bond system in the offing for MBBS courses, graduate doctors refusing rural service must pay Rs 10 lakh compensation, warns Health minister
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Aug 12: Doctors in the State continue to be reluctant to serve in rural areas, despite imposition of pelties on those who refuse to do rural service.
Two doctors, who received their post-graduate medical degrees from government institutions in the State, have declined rural postings and paid a compensation of Rs 20 lakh each before moving out, State Health minister zrul Islam said today.
The government had introduced a bond system wherein a student taking a medical seat in post-graduate courses was made to give an undertaking, saying that she/he will serve in rural area for ten years or pay a pelty of Rs 20 lakh.
The Health minister said that the bond system will now be introduced for the MBBS courses as well. "A medical graduate will have to serve in rural areas for ten years or pay up Rs 10 lakh to the government," he informed the Assembly.
"The government spends Rs 40 lakh on each medical graduate and Rs 1 crore on each post-graduate student. This is paid from public money. They will have to refund a portion of the money if they do not want to serve in rural areas," he said.
Islam also said that a 200-bedded cancer hospital is coming up near GMCH and it will be ready in the next three/four months' time. Medical colleges will also come up at Diphu, gaon, Lakhimpur and Dhubri, he informed.
The Health minister said an inquiry has been ordered into allegations that ASHA workers were taking patients to private hospitals on being paid 'commissions' by the institutions.
Earlier, the Health minister came under scathing attack from both ruling and opposition MLAs about the pathetic health infrastructure in the State.
Congress legislator Bhupen Kumar Bora said the civil hospital at Lakhimpur is in woeful shape. "The three newly constructed ICUs are still non-functiol due to shortage of manpower. The CT scan machine is defunct since October last year," he said.
BPF legislator Pramila Rani Brahma said there were only 66 government doctors in Kokrajhar, though the number of sanctioned posts is 131. "Three hundred babies are delivered every month at Kokrajhar civil hospital but there are only two specialist doctors there. The civil hospital at Gossaigaon is functioning like an FRU," she alleged.
"There is an acute shortage of cotton and bandage in hospitals. Rabies vaccines are also not available. The free pacemaker scheme has been stopped," AGP MLA Keshav Mahanta rued, also pointing to the shoddy construction of health sub-centres.