BANGALORE: Falling in line with the state government’s intention to make rural service mandatory for doctors, nearly 462 MBBS students from seven government colleges in the state have reported for duty in rural areas, according to the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services.
The Directorate has collated information of 632 students who took admissions to MBBS programme in 2006 under government quota at 10 government medical colleges in the state.
As per the details by Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) and the Common Entrance Test (CET) cell of the Karnataka Examination Authority to the Directorate, 536 students had successfully completed the course.
“A congratulatory note from the Directorate asked them to report for rural service, as per the agreement they had signed with the CET cell. The note could not be delivered to 74 students due to invalid addresses. The remaining 462 students have consented and reported to serve in rural areas for an year,” said a senior official from the Directorate.
The Directorate has constituted a Bond Enforcement Cell (BEC), which is active since December 2011. “The BEC is involved with collection of information of MBBS students. Out of 10 government medical colleges, only seven conducted admissions in November 2006,” said the official.
“We are also contemplating on holding counselling sessions for graduates who have reported for duty. The Directorate has offered Rs 25,000 per month. They will be deputed at the Primary Health Centres (PHCs),” the official added.
These graduates will be dealing with out-patient departments (OPD) and emergency services at PHCs.
“As per the government order in 2006, a fine of Rs 1 lakh will be imposed if a graduate fails to serve in rural ares for an year. So far, 3-4 graduates have agreed to pay the fine. We are not interested in collecting fines. We only want them to understand the need of medical services in rural areas,” the official said.
RGUHS Vice-Chancellor Dr Sriprakash K S said he was apprehensive about making this compulsory rule. “Increase in incentives to make them feel comfortable may help,” he said.