Students pursuing post-graduate courses in the three government-run medical colleges will have to serve the state for a minimum of two years failing which they could be penalised.
While making the provision mandatory, the government has asked the Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET) to ensure execution of the bond that students will have to sign to this effect while taking admission in the state-run medical colleges.
The decision, taken last week by the state’s health department stressed that “all candidates taking admission in government medical colleges, either under state quota or all India quota in post-graduation in medicine (MD), post-graduation in medical master of surgery (MS), master of dental surgery, or doctor medicine (DM) courses” would have to execute the bond. The decision will not be applicable to under-graduate courses such as MBBS, BDS and paramedical courses.
The government will allow the bond to lapse if it cannot provide employment to the candidate within six months of the candidate completing the PG course.
The announcement also said that in the event of a student getting an opportunity to pursue higher studies immediately after completion of the PG course, he or she would be allowed to join the course.
But, after completion of higher studies, they would have to serve the state government for the stipulated two years. Such students would be required to make affidavits before first class judicial magistrates.
Defending the decision, state health secretary Pramod Kumar Meherda said: “The state has an acute shortage of doctors. The government spends a lot in providing medical education in the state. But, most of the students are reluctant to serve the state. The purpose of the bond is to retain graduating doctors and utilise their services.”
About 1,300 of 4,700 posts of doctors are vacant in the state at present.
In November 2015, the state government had dismissed 408 doctors for abandoning duty.
At the specialists’ level (doctors with PG degree holders), the state faces an acute shortage. There are nearly 450 post-graduate seats in the three colleges – SCB Medical College, Cuttack, MKCG Medical College, Berhampur, and VSS Medical College, Burla.
An official said that if a student fails to adhere to the bond and does not serve the state for two years, the government would impose monetary penalties.
“The penalty will be double the amount of stipend/salary received during the study period (post-graduation). We will also not release their pass certificate, college leaving certificate or any other certificate in the custody of the authority.”
The official said candidates leaving the pos-graduation course before completion would be liable to face monetary penalty of Rs 10 lakh, the amount of stipend and the salary received by him or her till that period.
An official said the bonds would be made on non-judicial stamp paper of Rs 21. The bonds would have to be signed by the candidate, two sureties (parents or guardians), the dean and the principal of the institutions concerned. The bonds would be collected centrally at the time of provisional admission by the selection committee, and to be handed over to the respective institutions after final admission.