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Assam government gets tough with 'errant' doctors

K Anurag in Guwahati | August 02, 2008 11:34 IST

The Assam government has decided to take stringent measures against medical students who graduate from government colleges but shy away from joining government hospitals to serve the people of the state.

The government has already slapped legal notices on 32 such post-graduate doctors to join government hospitals, failing which they will have to pay back the full cost of their medical education.

Assam Health Minister Dr Himanta Bishwa Sharma said that the 'errant' medicos had been notified to either serve the patients in public hospitals or pay a minimum of Rs 10 lakh each � the amount that the government spent on their education.

The minister informed that there was a disturbing tendency among medical students to violate the bond that they sign with the government � promising to serve public hospitals and rural health centres � after completion of their course.

The minister said that the government might even take legal action against errant doctors as their refusal to serve in government hospitals amounted to misutilisation of public money.

"The state government can't afford to spend crores of rupees every year to produce doctors who will join private hospitals. If the errant doctors don't fall in line, tough legal action will be taken against them," the minister said.

Mast of the doctors, who defied their bond, have passed out of the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital.

The state has faced a serious shortage of specialist doctors in government hospitals, especially in rural areas, as mushrooming private hospitals in the state lure medical graduates away from government jobs by offering lucrative salary packages and perks.

The state government is also mulling the introduction of a rural health service to facilitate special recruitment for doctors working in rural areas.






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