Assam acts against medicos refusing government jobs

August 2nd, 2008 - 3:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Aug 2 (IANS) Assam has slapped legal notices on at least 50 medical graduates and postgraduates for not working in government hospitals or serving in rural areas in violation of a bond they had signed during admission in the state’s medical colleges, authorities said Saturday. “We are not producing doctors, spending an estimated Rs.1 million for each student, to only work in private hospitals. We are bent on ensuring that proper healthcare reaches the rural poor through the public healthcare system,” state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told IANS.

Authorities in Assam had in 2002 made it mandatory for all medical students to sign a bond that requires every medical graduate to serve the government for five years and every postgraduate for a period of 10 years.

Any medical graduate flouting the bond is required to pay the state government a compensation of Rs.700,000. For a postgraduate, the compensation is fixed at Rs.1 million.

“We are bent on enforcing this norm and shall make sure every medical graduate or postgraduate from medical colleges in Assam follow the rule,” Sarma said.

“We want to make sure that every panchayat has a doctor and to achieve our target, we shall create new posts every year,” the health minister said.

A state of 26 million people, Assam has 26,000 villages spread over 27 districts.

Between 2005 and 2007, the state government created 300 new posts of doctors. The three medical colleges at Guwahati, Dibrugarh and Silchar have produced 391 medical graduates and 150 postgraduates in the session ending 2006.

Sarma said henceforth medical graduates and post-graduates would be offered jobs at government hospitals even if they do no apply for such posts. And action will be initiated against them if they do not take up such offers.

“If any medico fails to comply with the norm, the government could go to the extent of filing ‘bakijai’ (loan recovery) cases against him and even send them to jail,” the minister said.

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