Medicos skip rural service, pay Rs 10 crore in penalty

Medicos skip rural service, pay Rs 10 crore in penalty

Of 1,463 MBBS graduates, only 226 have opted for rural postings in 2 yrs

Doctors in the State are shelling out huge sums to avoid being posted in villages. The Bond Enforcement Cell has collected Rs 10 crore as penalty from them in just one year.

The Cell created by the government manages the allotment of rural services to medicos and collects penalties. According to the latest records of the Cell, of the 1,463 undergraduate (MBBS) students enrolled from 2006-07 and 2007-08 batches, only 226 have opted for rural services. As many as 973 students have opted to pay a penalty of Rs one lakh each to avoid rural services. Of the remaining 264 students, the Cell has issued legal notices to 151 students, 75 of them are not traceable and 28 students are from the all India quota.

Among the postgraduates degree and diploma students, of the 846 students who are mainly specialists, only 20 have opted for rural services. Only nine post graduate students have paid the penalty of Rs three lakh each.  The Cell has issued legal notices to as many as 601 students who have failed to either pay penalty nor opted for rural services. 

The government has increased the penalty amount for MBBS graduates from Rs one lakh to Rs 10 lakh. For postgraduate diploma graduates, the amount has been increased from Rs three lakh to Rs 15 lakh and for those with postgraduate degrees, the penalty has been hiked from Rs five lakh to Rs 25 lakhs.

However, the implementation of these revised penalties will come into effect from 2017 onwards after the present batches graduate.

Silver lining

On the brighter side, there are a few medicos who have opted for extension of their rural services. These medicos who have opted for rural services are paid a monthly stipend of Rs 29,967 (MBBS), Rs 32,428 (PG diploma) and Rs 35,000 (PG degree). 

Serving in rural areas for one year will make them eligible for permanent registration under the Karnataka Medical Registration Act, 1961 or the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.

In August, 2012, the Legislative Assembly passed the Karnataka Compulsory Service Training by Candidates Completed Medical Courses Bill, 2012.

The Bill makes it compulsory for all medical students irrespective of the year they are studying in to serve in rural areas for one year.  According to government sources, once the Bill becomes an Act, there will be no option for paying any penalty to avoid rural services. The Bill is now pending President’s assent.