Mumbai: 50% JJ doctors ducked rural service
mid-day, through an RTI query, also finds that the Sir JJ group of hospitals failed to collect fines from these students
The 50% doctors were from JJ Group of hospitals and Grant medical college in past 5 years
The state government spends Rs 5 lakh on every medical student by providing basic facilities free of cost and charging minimum fees. But despite this, many medical students refuse to serve rural Maharashtra. Nearly 50 per cent of the under and post-graduate students, after passing out from one of the biggest government-run colleges, Grant Medical College, Mumbai, have opted out of a one-year bond to serve in rural Maharashtra, in the past five years.
Grant Medical College and JJ group of hospitals, are among top medical institutions in the country, but mid-day, through an RTI query, has found that out of 645 students from the under-graduate and post-graduate courses there, 354 students opted out of the bond from 2011 to 2015.
In 2013, the Bombay High Court instructed the state to ensure that all doctors, after their MBBS and PG courses, serve in rural hospitals.
The college has collected fines for violation of bonds, but only from few students. In the past five years, the college has collected just over Rs 71 lakh.
All students while taking admission, need to sign a bond that after completion of studies, they will serve for one year in rural hospitals. In case they fail, they have to pay Rs 15 lakh (for MBBS students) and R50 lakh (for PG students).
In the bond, students are given an option to serve in rural areas or in a public hospital in urban areas. But most students prefer to work in urban set ups.
Activists demand stricter rules so students follow the bonds. Ravikant Singh, a health activist said, “Colleges should ensure that students opt for the bonds. But for months after completion of their courses, Directorate of Medical Education and Research fails to provide them the placements for the bond, which also discourages students.”
“The authorities should make it compulsory for students to work in rural hospitals,” said Lini Chaudhuri, another health activist.
“In most rural hospitals, students have to work 24/7 which is inhuman. In comparison, the money paid is very little,” said Dr Swapnil Meshram, president of central Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors.
But Dr TP Lahane, dean of the college, refuted the claims. He said, “Now, the number of students opting out of the bond has decreased and we always fine students who don’t serve the bonds. It is just an allegation that students opt out.”
Not so fine bond
>> Rs 15 lakh: The fine MBBS students have to pay for opting out of the bond
>> Rs 50 lakh: The fine PG students have to pay
>> Rs 71 lakh: The total fines collected are just little over this sum
Number of students that opted out of the bonds
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