Gujarat PG students to pay Rs 10 lakh bond, serve three years in rural areas

The Gujarat state government has also introduced Rs 10 lakh bond for post graduate medical students studying in government colleges and they too will have to serve in rural areas for three years. Earlier the post graduate students did not have to sign any such agreement.Gujarat is facing severe crisis had earlier this year, in a move which will take super specialist treatment right to the rural areas, decided to give appointment to private doctors in the government hospital at district and Taluka level hospitals.

Health Minister Nitin Patel had made the announcement in the assembly that in order to provide super specialized treatment to the people, the government has decided to have the services of physician, surgeon, Orthopedic surgeon, pediatrician, obstetrician and Gynecologists, Radiologist, Ear nose throat and pathologists for the Community Health Centre and the sub district hospitals. Patel had said that the doctors will have to give his services for three hours in a day, for six days in a week. The Government will pay Rs 600 per hour to the doctor. The doctors will also be free to carry out their practice during the day. Patel said that the scheme will be called CM-SETU 'Chief Minister Services of Experts at Treatment Unit.'

This was the second move to make the specialized treatment availble to the poort. There are around 1500 under graduate seats in the government run medical colleges and around 450 for post graduate students. Maharashtra and several other states have a system where post graduate students sign agreement up to Rs 50 lakh.

Gujarat hopes to bind docs to PHCs with 'bonds'

State government has decided to increase the bond value for MBBS students from Rs1.5 lakh to Rs5 lakh, with the hope that this will dissuade qualified doctors in rural areas of Gujarat to move to urban pastures. It has also introduced bond of Rs10 lakh for the post-graduate (PG) medical students. MBBS and PG students, studying into the govt or grant-in-aid medical colleges at nominal fees are supposed to do their internship in the state government-run health centres. As these centres are mostly located in rural areas, 70% of MBBS students studying in government-run institutes prefer to pay up Rs1.5 lakh than go there for internship.

Talking about the move government spokesperson and state health minister Nitin Patel said, “State government was well aware of this practice by MBBS students, who would opt out of their rural internship by paying the bond amount. As a result of this malpractice, rural areas suffer from lack of qualified doctors. Therefore, in a bid to curb this practice, we have increased the bond value from Rs1.5 lakh to Rs5 lakh for three years of services in rural areas. We hope this way we can retain more MBBS students in rural areas as interns.”

He further said the govt wants to make specialized doctors available for the rural masses and thus introduced the Rs10 lakh bond for PG students studying in government medical colleges. “They will need to provide their services at the government hospitals in rural areas for 3 years. If they opt out of it, they will need to pay the bond money,” the minister said.

Justifying that the bond amount at PG level is moderate as compared to other states of the country, Patel said, “States have their own criteria. Some provide less stipend and charge less amount as bond, some others give good stipends and keep the bond amount high. Maharashtra has Rs62,000 as tuition fee, Rs4,000 as hostel fee and a bond value is Rs50 lakh while they provide stipends of Rs29,133. Rajasthan has only Rs3.5 lakh bond, but they pay only Rs 20,000 as stipend. In Gujarat, till now, we did not have any bond at the PG level and paid them Rs28,000 as stipend,” he said. 

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