MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government is planning to introduce a reservation in the MBBS course for the students who agree to serve in rural areas after passing out.
If the commitment is broken, however, the student should face severe consequences such as imprisonment apart from cancellation of the degree, the proposal says.
The state cabinet decided on Monday to introduce the `Maharashtra Designation of Certain Seats in Government and Municipal Corporations Medical Colleges' bill in the coming assembly session (which would be after the elections).
It proposes to reserve 10 and 20 per cent seats in MBBS and post-graduation medical courses, respectively, for candidates who undertake to serve in government-run hospitals in remote and rural areas.
Under the current system, medical students have to submit a bond that they would serve in rural areas upon passing out.
But the rule has mostly stayed on paper.
"The proposed bill, with its stringent clauses, will provide the state with a sufficient number of doctors in rural areas. At present, the supply of skilled doctors in rural and remote areas is inadequate," said an official of the state medical education department.
However, Dr Avinash Supe, former dean of the civic-run KEM Hospital here, disagreed with the utility of the proposal.
"It is not just about sending fresh doctors to rural areas to serve in government-run hospitals. There should be good facilities too at these hospitals and the doctors' residential quarters," he said.