DME serves notice to 30 specialist doctors unwilling to serve in rural areas of Assam
GUWAHATI, Feb 9: The shortage of specialist doctors in Assam has long cast a shadow on its health sector. The painful reality is that the Assam government is spending hugely medical students taking post-graduation degrees, but the State is getting precious little in return. The reason is that most of these PG students are from outside the State.
It has been learnt that after completing their PG studies in State medical colleges, a section of doctors mainly from outside the State prefer to move out with their specialization degrees instead of rendering service in the State as per the bond condition signed at the time of admission. From time to time, this has led to shortage of specialized doctors in the State.
Taking note of this blatant violation of bond condition, the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) a few days back served notice to 30 such doctors who took their PG degrees from Assam, but are reluctant to render service in the State. the shocker is that out of these 30 students, 28 are from outside the State. The DME has given 15 days time to the doctors to respond to the notice or else legal action will be initiated.
As per the bond condition, students taking admission for PG degree in State medical colleges are bound to serve in rural areas of the State for a limited period of time. However, if they opt it out, they will have to refund the expenses incurred by the State government on their education and training, which is around Rs 7 lakh presently.
There are around 200 PG seats overall in the medical colleges in Assam. It takes around 3 years for a doctor to complete the course.
At the time of taking admission in MBBS course, some students get into medical colleges through AIPMT whereas others make it through the State’s CEE. Students enrolled through AIPMT, upon completion of MBBS and while seeking admission in PG, get two options asking whether they will take the seat in Central quota or in the State quota. It also seeks information on whether the student will take stipend from the government or not. Those who take admission in Central quota are not bound to extend their services to the State after completion of their PG degree. However, students taking State quota are bound to extend their services to the State.
But the fact that most of the students who come from other parts of the country, opt to move out with their PG degrees without rendering service in the State, has drawn sharp criticism from concerned citizens. At a time when medical students from Assam are mostly deprived from taking admission in PG courses, the fact that those who get these seats at the State government’s considerable expense but are reluctant to join rural service here is being condemned by all. The question is, will the State government firmly follow through to recover its expenses from such errant specialized doctors?