The Jharkhand cabinet has cleared a proposal under which any student passing out of the state’s medical colleges will have to work for three years in the state after finishing the course, failing which he/she would have to deposit fines ranging from Rs 20 to Rs 30 lakh. Earlier, a student after completing an MBBS or a postgraduate course had to work for a year in the state and the fine for not doing so was between Rs 10 and 20 lakh.
The new rules will also bar students, who do not take their allocated seats after final counselling, from appearing in any medical entrance examination for a year. Also, if a student leaves mid-way through the course, he would have to pay a fine besides returning the scholarship amount and other stipends.
The students’ course certificates will be with the college till they complete three years in service. However, if the government is not able to provide the person with employment within six months, the stipulation would cease to exist. A bond in this regard would have to be signed by the student at the time of the admission to the course.
Official sources said this was being done to retain doctors in the state for a longer period so that resource gaps are filled up to an extent. “There is a huge shortage of required number of doctors,” said a senior officer.
Principal Secretary (Health) Nidhi Khare said: “In the last couple of years, there were at least 70 students, who left the course mid-way, agreeing to pay fines that totalled around Rs 2 crore. We want to stem this trend. Also, we are hoping that it would help fill the shortage of doctors, as they will have to work within the state for three years.”
Jharkhand has three medical colleges — Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College in Jamshedpur and Patliputra Medical College in Dhanbad. At present, the cumulative seat capacity is 180 for the MBBS course.
In the past couple of years, the state government has announced three new medical colleges and hospitals at Palamu, Hazaribagh and Dumka. Recently, the state government got 236.92 acres of land transferred to authorities concerned for setting up of an AIIMS in Deoghar.
“These new facilities will attract better doctors from other states. However, we require to churn out more doctors from within the state. We are hoping that these measures, coupled with the fact that new colleges are coming up, will help us in filling the acute shortage,” said an official.