Haryana government’s bond policy for MBBS students draws criticism

The Haryana government’s policy to incentivise doctors to opt for government service in the State after completing their MBBS degree, by making them execute an annual bond of ₹10 lakh during the course, has met with strong opposition from candidates seeking admission in State-governed medical colleges.

Candidates and parents have termed the decision “unjustified”, “ill-timed” and an additional “financial” burden. Most of the parents have questioned the timing of the decision that came two days after the choices for the first round of counselling were locked. The parents and candidates argued that they could have made their choices accordingly, had the decision announced earlier.

The Haryana government had on October 29, through a gazette notification, said that fee for the government medical and dental colleges would be ₹52,070 per annum. But the government came out with a policy to incentivise doctors to opt for government service in the State on November 6, saying the candidates selected for MBBS degree course in government medical colleges need to execute an annual bond for ₹10 lakh minus the fee at the start of every academic year.

The candidate can pay the entire bond amount without recourse to the loan or the State government will facilitate them for availing an education loan for this bond amount. As per the policy, the government will repay the annual instalments of the loan if the candidate obtains employment with the State government.

Hefty sum

Charki Dadri-resident Gobind Singla, whose daughter Saloni has cleared the NEET exam this year, said she could have opted for colleges outside Haryana had the policy been announced before the first round of counselling. “The government offers to repay the loan in case of government job, but does not guarantee the job. It will put extra financial burden of around ₹50-60 lakh including the interest,” said Mr. Singla seeking the rollback of the policy.

The total bond amount for the MBBS course would be around ₹36 lakh.

Rajpal Vats, a Faridabad resident, said he was mulling to move court on this matter. His daughter Riddhi Vats has scored 2,313 rank in NEET.

“So, people must be wondering, “what’s the issue? Loan hi toh lene bola hai na? [They have only been asked to take loan]. Well, here is the problem: The tenure of the loan will be SEVEN years after internship, i.e. the candidate must either continue to serve the govt. for seven years or repay the loan. [sic],” tweeted Umme H. Faisal, an MBBS doctor, opposing the policy.

Dearth of doctors

A Senior Medical Education and Research Department Official, on condition of anonymity, said there was a huge dearth of doctors in government hospitals and the scarcity was also felt during the COVID-19 situation and therefore, a policy was required. “Besides, the point 15 in gazette notification on October 29 says that a proposal regarding bond is under consideration and will be notified,” the official said.

He added that there were enough vacancies to accommodate all those MBBS doctors willing to work in government hospitals, but the same could not be guaranteed in the policy. Justifying the resultant hike in fee, the official said the medical education in government colleges in the State was highly subsidised.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2021 6:22:17 AM |

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