SC upholds Odisha govt’s revised medical bond policy; directs uniform policy

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Bhubaneswar: The Supreme Court today upheld the changes to the medical bond policy by Odisha government that directs the students graduating from State-run medical college to serve at least two years under the state government after completing their PG and Super Specialist courses.

A writ petition was filed by the Association of Medical Super Specialty Aspirants and Residents who had appealed to revoke the compulsory bond conditions.

However, rejecting the petition, the apex court recommended that appropriate steps should be taken by the Centre and the Medical Council of India to have a uniform policy regarding the compulsory service to be rendered by the doctors who are trained in government institutions.

Shibashish Misra, counsel appearing for Odisha Government, drew the attention of Supreme Court that all the 45 seats in the super specialty courses in the state are filled up on the basis of merit in the All India Counseling. Though the fee charged in the government colleges is Rs 45,000 per year and the stipend of Rs 56,826 is paid to the doctors undergoing super specialty courses which results serious shortage of super specialty doctors in the state.

A bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta observed that the laudable objectives with which the state governments have introduced compulsory service bonds is to protect the fundamental right of deprived sections of the society guaranteed to them under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

It is pertinent to mention here that, earlier Odisha government had revised the Medical Bond Policy in which the MBBS and BDS students graduating from State-run medical colleges will have to serve for two years in the state after completing their PG and Super Specialist courses.

Moreover, the penalty amount has been increased from Rs 36 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore for medical PG and Rs 2 crore for super specialty students, for students who leave the state after completing the courses here.

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