AHMEDABAD: Out of more than 4,300 MBBS students who passed out from state-run medical colleges between 2009 and 2014 in Gujarat, only 530 served in government run-hospitals in rural areas for three years as per the bond they have to sign at the time of admission.
According to the data tabled in the Gujarat Assembly recently, the state government has collected more than Rs 15.68 crore from those MBBS students who have breached their bonds and opted out of this mandatory service in villages.
While replying to a question raised by Congress MLA Paresh Dhanani seeking details about such doctors, State Health Minister Nitin Patel in his written reply stated that there were total six medical colleges in the state as on December 2014. A total of 4,341 MBBS students have passed out from these colleges between 2009 and 2014, said the reply.
Out of these qualified doctors, only 530 had served in state-run rural hospitals during that period of five years, revealed the data tabled in the Assembly. As per the Gujarat government's rules, MBBS students of tate-run colleges have to sign a bond at the time of admission, giving a promise that they would serve for three years in rural areas, failing which they have to pay Rs 5 lakh.
The government said only 530 'bonded doctors' out of the 4,341 have served their full term in rural hospitals, while others have paid the bond amount and moved elsewhere.
As per data, only 96 out 757 served their full term in 2009-10; 105 out of 811 in 2010-11; 141 out of 951 in 2011-12; 109 out of 950 in 2012-13, and just 79 out of 872 in 2013-14 have served in rural areas.
Replying to another question about collection of bond money from doctors who have breached their bonds, government has stated that more than Rs 15.68 crore has been collected from 1,412 doctors who have opted out of their mandatory service in rural areas.
In 2009-10, Rs 2.81 crore were collected from 361 doctors, in 2010-11, Rs 3.33 crore were collected from 337 doctors, in 2011-12, Rs 3.87 crore were collected from 312 doctors, Rs 3.26 crore collected from 271 doctors while Rs 2.39 crore were collected from 131 doctors. Facing flak from Opposition on the condition of health-care services in rural areas, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel recently admitted that the shortfall of doctors is truly a matter of concern.
While speaking at a function in Nadiad town two days back, she expressed concern over vacant posts of doctors in state-run hospitals. "Our government has regularly increased seats in medical and nursing colleges. However, there are very few doctors who remain in Gujarat, as most of them either start their own practice or settle abroad. People are suffering due to such imbalance," said Patel.