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The Union Health Ministry is working to finalize the regulations to eliminate the bonding policy for doctors given the suggestion of the National Medical Commission, according to reports cited by PTI.

According to the duty policy, physicians must complete a specified number of years of service in public hospitals after obtaining their undergraduate and graduate degrees; otherwise, they must pay a fine to the state or medical school (the amount of which is determined in advance by each state and union territory).

The Supreme Court approved government bond policies in August 2019 and pointed out that some governments were imposing strict conditions. It was recommended that the Center and the then Medical Council of India create a common policy which would apply to all states regarding the compulsory service which doctors who have received their training in government institutions are required to perform .

As directed by the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Health in 2019 set up a committee to look into the matter, which was chaired by Dr. BD Athani, Senior Consultant, Directorate General of Health Services. In May 2020, the committee delivered its report, which was then sent to the National Medical Commission (NMC) for comment.

In February 2021, the NMC provided its comments. He claimed the report did not properly address why laws required all state governments to impose obligations on students.

The NMC in its comments stated 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 observations. Given its observations and notwithstanding the SC’s observations confirming the legalities of state government bonding policies, the commission was of the view that medical students should not be burdened with bonding conditions, and that could go against the principles of natural justice,” the source said.

Instead of providing subsidized education at government medical schools, the state determines the amount of the bond.

For MBBS, the bail amount varies widely from state to state, ranging from Rs 5 lakh in Goa, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu to Rs 1 crore in Uttarakhand, and up to Rs 2-2 .5 crore in Kerala, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra for postgraduate and super students. – specialized programs.

In addition, the length of compulsory service varies from one to five years.

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

“The Department of Health is working to finalize guidelines to remove the bond policy based on recommendations from the NMC,” the source added.

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