MUMBAI: In a bid to attract new talent to the government medical services, the Maharashtra government is contemplating a carrot and stick approach. While the government is planning to offer reservation in government medical colleges for candidates willing to serve a longer-term in government jobs, it also proposes to make provision for hefty fines including jail term and cancellation of degree of such candidates if they don’t abide by the terms.
According to the proposal, a quota of 20 per cent seats in postgraduate courses and 10 per cent seats in graduate-level medical courses would be developed to boost the availability of doctors in rural areas. The quota would be available to the candidates who would agree to serve in rural areas in government jobs for five years after graduation and seven years after post-graduation. The candidates who won’t abide by the condition after completing education would be sentenced to five years of imprisonment and cancellation of degree.
While the state cabinet cleared the proposal on Monday, it would now be tabled in the assembly, probably during the winter session, in form of a bill, said Dr. T P Lahane, deputy director for medical education and research.
Government plans to make available around 450 to 500 MBBS seats and around 300 MD and MS seats under this quota, in the beginning, Dr Lahane said adding that the provision would be available only for the students from the state.
Even now, all the medical students from government colleges are expected to complete internship terms in rural areas and have to submit a bond in this regard while securing admission to medical colleges. However, fewer than 10 per cent of the students comply with the terms to serve in the rural areas even while there is a provision of Rs 10 lakh fine for MBBS students and Rs 50 lakh to Rs 2 crore of fine for postgraduate and super specialty candidates.
The new proposal aims at doing away with this gap, Dr Lahane said.