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The Health Ministry is developing rules to eliminate the doctor bond policy

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Published By:
Peeyush Ghalot
Published On:
(Photo Courtesy: - Medical Dialogue)

The National Medical Commission's proposals in this regard have been taken into consideration by the Union Health Ministry as it works to finalize the rules for eliminating the bond policy for doctors. At accordance with the bond policy, doctors must complete a set number of years of service in State hospitals after receiving their undergraduate and graduate degrees; otherwise, they must pay a fine to the State or medical institution (an amount determined in advance by each State and Union Territory). The Health Ministry established a committee in 2019 to look into the subject in accordance with the Supreme Court's instructions, and Dr. B. D. Athani, Principal Consultant, Directorate General of Health Services, served as the committee's chairman. Its opinions were provided by the NMC in February 2021. It said that the report did not adequately examine the reasons behind the various State governments' policies requiring them to impose bond requirements on students. In its comments, the NMC noted that since the various States adopted the bond policy, there have been significant changes in medical education nationwide. As a result, it may be worthwhile for the individual States to examine the merits and efficacy of this policy. The NMC provided its comprehensive observations. The commission was of the considered opinion that medical students should not be subject to any bond conditions and that doing so may be in conflict with the principles of natural justice, in light of its observations and despite the SC's observations upholding the legalities related to the state governments' bond policies. In a meeting, it was noted that everyone agreed that mandatory rural service should be implemented to increase the number of doctors who are available in rural and distant areas. The bond could also be administrative in nature and not financial in nature. Based on the NMC's recommendations, the Health Ministry is putting the finishing touches on the rules for getting rid of the bond programme.

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