The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to frame a policy to make it mandatory for the students taking admission in PG and speciality courses in government medical colleges to serve in public hospitals in rural areas for a certain period after passing out.
According to the conditions imposed by the states, a student has to execute a bond at the time of admission to postgraduate and super speciality courses in government colleges that they would serve in public hospitals and health centres after completing their course. But the conditions imposed by the states are not uniform.
Noting that the government spends huge money on each medical student, the court said the condition is not illegal and arbitrary as it is meant to ensure that specialist healthcare is extended to rural areas.
The compulsory service period across states varies from 2-5 years while the bond amount is different across states and goes up to Rs 50 lakh. The court has fixed the service period at two years and penalty at Rs 20 lakh.
“Taking note of the fact that certain state governments have rigid conditions in the compulsory bonds to be executed by the appellants (students), we suggest that suitable steps be taken by Centre and MCI to have a uniform policy regarding the compulsory service to be rendered by doctors who are trained in government institutions,” SC said.
The main objective of this policy is to protect the fundamental right of deprived sections to have basic health services. SC said that though the government is rendering this obligation by opening hospitals and health centres, it has to be within the reach of people to make it meaningful.

Source: Times of India.

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