The Madras High Court has expressed concern over the Tamil Nadu Health Department neither offering government jobs to doctors who pass out of government medical colleges in order to honour their two-year bond period, nor releasing their educational certificates so that they could either pursue higher education or take up private jobs.
Justice R. Subramanian wrote: “Being doctors, holding super speciality degrees and post graduate degrees, forcing them to be idle, in my opinion, is a crime. It is high time the government evolves a system to accommodate these doctors who are obliged to serve the government on bond immediately after completion of their respective courses.”
He went on to state: “I do not think, it will be difficult for the government to devise such a procedure by which these medical graduates, who are under an obligation to serve the government, could be accommodated appropriately.”
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The Judge said he was very much alive to the fact that the government spends a lot of money on providing medical education, particularly postgraduate education, to the students who gain admission in government medical colleges and pay only a very small amount of money towards fees. Therefore, obtaining bonds from these students, to agree to serve government hospitals for two years after completion of their course, might be justifiable but the practice of retaining their original certificates and forcing them to remain idle without offering them jobs at government institutions could be avoided, he said.
The observations were made while disposing of a batch of six writ petitions filed by a group of doctors, through their counsel K.R. Laxman, seeking a direction to the government medical colleges to return their educational certificates since they were unable to take up employment in private hospitals.
The Judge found that one of the writ petitioners had completed her post graduation in May 2021 and even if the government calls upon her today to honour the bond period, she could be asked to serve the State only for five months since 19 months had already expired from the date of completion of the course.
Justice Subramanian also referred to a Division Bench decision, wherein it was held that retention of educational certificates was incorrect. Therefore, the judge ordered return of the petitioners’ educational certificates after obtaining undertakings from them to honour the bond period as and when the government calls upon them to do so.
The petitioners were directed to furnish their permanent residential address as well as the current address to the government.