Regulatory policy

Center will remove bond policy for doctors? What the report suggests

The Union Health Department is reportedly creating guidelines to scrap the bond policy for doctors which requires them to work for a set period of time in a public hospital after completing their undergraduate and tertiary education. Physicians who fail to do so must pay a fine (amount specified in advance by each state and union territory) to the state or medical school.

The effort to remove the bond policy for doctors has been taken up by the Ministry of Health following the recommendation of the National Medical Commission (NMC), news agency PTI reported.

In August 2019, the Supreme Court upheld state bond policy and observed that some governments impose rigid conditions. He suggested that the Center and the then Medical Council of India draw up a uniform policy regarding compulsory service to be rendered by doctors trained in government institutions, which will be applicable in all states, a person familiar with the question. PTI.

Following the Supreme Court’s recommendation, the Ministry of Health formed a committee to look into the matter, which then forwarded its recommendation to the National Medical Commission (NMC) for comment.

“The NMC, in its comments, said that since the enactment of the bond policy by the various states, much has changed in medical education in the country and therefore it may be useful to review the merits/effectiveness of this policy by the different States.

“The NMC submitted its detailed submissions. In view of its submissions and notwithstanding the submissions of the SC confirming the legalities related to state government bonding policies, the commission was of the view that medical students should not be burdened with no bail conditions and it may go against the principles of natural justice,” PTI quoted the person familiar with the matter.

In addition, the matter has been thoroughly reviewed by the department and it has been proposed that there is a need to review the entire bond policy de novo with the views of all states, union territories and other stakeholders.

Following this meeting was held to finalize a uniform functioning of bond policy across all states. The uniform policy would include the amount of bond, how to apply, and timely availability of positions in the states after the internship is completed.

There is no bond provision under the NMC Act 2019 or the old Indian Medical Council Act 1956 and regulations thereunder. The condition of obligation is imposed by the state to increase access to improved health services, especially in rural areas by filling the vacant position in community health centers (CHCs) and primary health centers ( PHC).

The amount of bail is decided by the state instead of subsidized education provided in government medical colleges.

The amount of bail varies from state to state and varies widely between 5 lakh (Goa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu) and 1 crore (Uttarakhand) for MBBS and up 2-2.5 crore (Kerala, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra) for PG and super specialty.

The length of compulsory service also varies between 1 year and 5 years.

“During a meeting, it was observed that there is a consensus that there should be a compulsory rural service to improve the availability of doctors in rural and remote areas with flexibility. In addition, the bond could be non-financial and implemented through an administrative mechanism,” the person added.

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