Together with the proposal of a mandatory exit test, the ministry announced the provision of 50% reservation in PG seats for those serving for an extended period as medical officers in rural areas. Even though the measure displays the government’s commitment towards bolstering rural healthcare, there’s another side to it. The scenario has several distressing aspects for freshly minted doctors.
But, in what is coming as good news is that the proposal to make one-year rural service mandatory for medical graduates from government institutes has undergone yet another change. Fresh graduates, who cleared the MBBS degree in 2017, will be allowed to appear for the upcoming post-graduate entrance exam even though they would not have completed their one-year rural stint. This proposal is yet to be approved by the state medical education minister of Maharashtra.
This amendment comes days after medical students raised objections to the original decision which made one-year bond service in rural areas mandatory for students to get their MBBS degree. As per the amendment and the new proposal the students will be allowed to apply for the 2018 post-graduate courses regardless they have not completed their one-year rural stint or not. In laymen terms, this means that the students who cleared their medical degree in 2017 will be allowed to appear for the post-graduate entrance exam in 2018 without completing their bonded service. But from 2019 onwards, this will be discontinued. This extension has been recommended after several students from the current batch complained about the sudden change in rules.
Up till now, those who fail to finish rural stint were supposed to pay a fine of Rs 15 lakh. However, at present, there is no mechanism to monitor whether students have fulfilled this requirement. The original decision came on October 12 as per the government resolution (GR). As per the notification issued by Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) “the evasion of bonded service will be treated as a misconduct and unethical behaviour, and that doctors found guilty will face action under the Medical Council Act, 1965, and could lose their registration as a medical practitioner.”
Until now, students were given six years after completing their MBBS degree to finish their post-graduate course as well as the rural stint. For the 2019 post-graduate medical entrance test, only students who have cleared their bonded service will be eligible. The updated proposal has reached the minister’s office and is awaiting the final nod.