BENGALURU: THE Department of Health and Family Welfare is caught in a bind as it is unable to trace at least 90 doctors who have not served their mandatory rural service. The department even does not have their basic contact details as the students had submitted fake details while signing a bond with the state government.
Every medical graduate and post-graduate student who avails seats in government medical colleges or government quota seats is mandated to sign a bond with the state government that they would serve in rural areas for a period of one year failing which they would pay a fine of `10 lakh.
Top department officials explained that they found it a challenge to contact the students as they had furnished fake addresses and contact numbers.
Speaking to Express, Subodh Yadav, commissioner, Department of Health and Family Welfare, said, “We have sought help from the Karnataka Medical Council (KMC) to have notices served to them or pay the fine. These candidates had given us fake details while signing the bond while the others might have changed residences.”
He also said the department announced the names of these candidates to defame them for violating norms. “Ideally, onus lies on individual medical institutes to verify the details provided by the candidates,” he said.
Meanwhile, a top source from the KMC, where these candidates registered, said they would be able to trace these candidates only if they have not changed their residences (details of which are given at the time of registration) or have not relocated to a different state. “Not all graduates come to us to update the data. Once the department provides us the list, we must check,” the source said. The notices are now being issued to the graduate and post-graduate students, who have graduated between 2009 and 2013, according to the Health Department.
Some doctors have questioned as to why the state did not get back to these candidates immediately and is acting now.
Dr Vishranka Aithal, member, youth wing, Indian Medical Association, Karnataka branch, said it was wrong on the part of the state government to threaten these candidates that their licence would be cancelled. “The bond does not mention that the state has the authority to cancel the licence,” she said.
Dr Aithal also said the Medical Council of India guidelines do not mandate compulsory rural service.