GUWAHATI, Aug 12 - The State government is contemplating to make the provisions of the bonds signed by MBBS and PG medical degree students more stringent as part of an effort to deal with the shortage of qualified doctors in Assam and to ensure easier delivery of health services to the remotest areas of the State.
Replying to a debate on cut motion on Supplementary Demands for Grants in the Legislative Assembly today, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Nazrul Islam said that as per current rules, MBBS students have to sign a bond promising to work for the government for 10 years after graduation, failing which they are to pay Rs 10 lakh to the government, while PG students have to sign a bond agreeing to serve for 10 years in government health sector or pay Rs 20 lakh.
He said the government is now contemplating to reduce the period of service under the bond agreement to 5 years, but increase the penalty for breaking the bond to Rs 20 lakh for MBBS degree holders and Rs 50 lakh for those who have completed their PG course from any of the medical colleges in the State under the State quota.
�For training one MBBS doctor, we are spending Rs 40 lakh, while for training a PG doctor we have to spend as much as Rs 1 crore. As they are being trained with public money, so they have a responsibility to serve the people,� Islam said.
The Minister admitted that there is a shortage of qualified doctors in the State and this has led to various problems in the delivery of health services.