Protest against MBBS Bond Policy continues: Haryana Students reject new notification, demand reduction of Bond period, penalty amount
Rohtak: The MBBS students in Haryana who are protesting against the State Government's bond policy have rejected the modifications mentioned in the recent Government notification dated November 7, 2022.Alleging that the new notification lacks clarity on several issues, the medicos belonging to four medical colleges in Haryana- Post Graduate of Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS),...
Rohtak: The MBBS students in Haryana who are protesting against the State Government's bond policy have rejected the modifications mentioned in the recent Government notification dated November 7, 2022.
Alleging that the new notification lacks clarity on several issues, the medicos belonging to four medical colleges in Haryana- Post Graduate of Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS), Rohtak, BhagatPhool Singh GMC, Khanpur Kalan, Shaheed Hassan Khan Mewati GMC, Kalpana Chawla Government Medical College, Karnal are continuing with their protest.
Recently they raised their voice against the bond terms while standing with flash lights as a symbol of protest. Recently they also marched to the Deputy Commissioner's office to submit their demand letter directed to the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
In that letter, the students have urged the Government to reduce the bond penalty amount to Rs 5 lakh and change the bond service term from seven years to one year.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the MBBS students in Haryana were protesting against the Rs 10 lakh annual bond policy imposed on the students. While recently CM Manohar Lal Khattar announced the Government's decision of junking the Rs 10 lakh annual fee, the bond money got changed into Bond papers. Therefore, now students will have to enter into a bond-cum-loan agreement of the amount with the college and the concerned bank. The state government will finance the bond amount if MBBS and MD pass-out students wish to join government service as a doctor and serve for a specified period of seven years. But candidates who do not want to join government services in Haryana will have to pay the amount themselves.
Clearly, the doctors were upset with the bond service terms for seven years and it was also unclear what would happen if the medicos wished to pursue post-graduation or higher education degrees. So, the upset medicos had organized a peaceful protest against the new bond rules in Haryana.
As per the notification published in the State Government Gazette dated November 07, 2022, "All candidates completing their MBBS Course from Government Medical Colleges in the State of Haryana, shall have to execute a tripartite bond at the time of admission amounting to Rs 36,40,636/- in Government Medical Colleges and Rs 32,80,000/- in Government Aided Medical College i.e MAMC, Agroha which will be signed at the time of admission between the candidate, bank and Government (through the Institution concerned in which the candidate gets admission)."
"The said loan/bond shall be implemented at the end of MBBS course if the candidate does not opt to serve in the Government of Haryana upon selection. No bond money shall be paid at the time of admission," it further added.
Referring to the issue of the candidates who wish to pursue Postgraduate medical education, the notification added, "The moratorium shall be extended in case of candidate who wishes to pursue Post Graduation , the details of which shall be notified separately."
However, the students claimed that this new notification fails to address the issues including the implementation of bond conditions in respect of the doctors who will join other streams including UPSC, or MBA, whether or not the three years of post graduation shall be counted as service period etc.
Referring to all these issues, a second-year MBBS student belonging to PGIMS told Medical Dialogues on the condition of anonymity, "The new notification lacks clarity further it is trying to project the students at fault and unwilling to serve the Government. The main conflicting issues have been modified in the new notification so that we cannot raise these factors."
"The seven-year service policy will create problems for those students as well who will join the course through All-India quota because they will have to stay in Haryana for seven years after completion of the course," the student added.
While these students have been protesting since November 1, 2022, the situation took a bitter turn when the police officials allegedly fired water canons against the protesting medicos, manhandled them and forcefully dragged them to police station. This made the entire medical fraternity furious and several organizations including Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA), Indian Medical Association Medical Students' Network (IMA-MSN), and several other State RDAs decided to observe black ribbon and black band protest on November 7, 2022.
When asked about the government action against the protesting students, the PGIMS medico said, "We have been released from police station but we are not sure whether or not FIRs have been launched against us."
These students are continuing their protest and only the day before yesterday they had approached the Deputy Commissioner's office to submit their letter containing eight demands from the government. Directed to the Chief Minister, the letter mentions, "The agreement to be executed by the candidate at the time of admission should only be between two parties namely the candidate and government (through the institution concerned in which the candidate gets admission).There should be NO involvement of the bank in this agreement."
Urging the Government to reduce the Bond service period to one year, it adds, "The 7 years duration of compulsory bond service to be rendered by doctors is too long. It hampers the growth of the young doctors during the progressive years of their professional career. Such an extensively long period of bond service does not exist in any other state. The bond service period should be a maximum of 1 year."
They have also sought a reduction of the bond amount and in this regard, the letter added, "The amount of bond default (Rs. 36,40,636/-) is too much for a middle class and poor family to pay in case the MBBS graduate has to leave the govt. Service for some exceptional reasons/ circumstances beyond control. This recompensation amount should not be more than 5 lakh rupees."
"The compulsory service offered to the MBBS graduate should be equivalent in salary, allowances and other benefits as payable to a Medical Officer (Group-A) under HCMS cadre. The MBBS graduate should be offered Govt. employment within a maximum period of 2 months after completion of degree. If the job is not offered within this period, the bond should stand null and void," the letter further mentioned.
Apart from this, the students have also sought clarity regarding the bond service terms after joining PG courses, requested the Government to quash the FIRs registered against the students and consider the strike period as null and void for the purpose of attendance and also compensate the teaching loss of students.
When asked about their future plan of action, a protesting student from PGIMS Rohtak told Medical Dialogues, "We are organising protest march everyday because we want people to know about the actual matter. The health services are running without any problem. However, the RDA has supported us and asked the government to revise the bond policy. If the Government do not pay attention, the RDA might take action."
Support from Medical Fraternity:
Meanwhile, the associations of doctors and the State RDAs have come in support of the Haryana students. Indian Medical Association Medical Students' Network Uttar Pradesh has condemned the wrongful act of Haryana Government for detaining the protesting students.
Indian Medical Association:
Indian Medical Association (IMA) has already written to the Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij ji. Further issuing a Press Release, IMA mentioned, "The nation is in shock to note that while exercising the democratic rights to oppose such moves, students became a victim of barbaric police action, where female doctors were manhandled, detained by the state police and the gathering was showered with water canons on a cold night. Such treatment by the state government is deeply discouraging, reprehensible and reflects an insensitive and callous attitude and is disrespect to the democratic peaceful protest."
"IMA HQs stands with the protesting Doctors of Haryana and denounces the State's harshness and oppressive actions. We request Honorable Chief Minister that a constructive discourse must be established to consider the legitimate demand and that the bond system be scrapped/modified to suit the government and the students alike," it added.
Delhi Medical Association:
Delhi Medical Association (DMA) has also come forward and writing to the Union Health Minister, the association mentioned, "The aforesaid bond policy introduced by Govt. of Haryana not only questions the merit but also takes away the dream of becoming doctor from poor economically backward aspirants. There is no doubt in the fact such policy will not only dilute the quality of medical education but will also hamper the health services in the state."
"Consequently, Delhi Medical Association stands in solidarity with medical students of Haryana and expresses full support for their legitimate request," it added.
Delhi Medical Association Writes to Hon'ble Health Minister of India, @mansukhmandviya Ji Regarding Introduction of Bond Policy for MBBS Students of Haryana despite efforts of @MoHFW_INDIA & @NMC_IND to Abolish Bond Policy of @cmohry#Bond_Free_Bharat @DalmiyaDr @IMAIndiaOrg pic.twitter.com/RNpO0owPKe— Dr.Harsh Rai (@drharshrai) November 11, 2022
FAIMA Doctors Association:
Calling the 7 years mandatory bond service police "Bizarre" FAIMA wrote to the Haryana Chief Minister and mentioned in the letter, "Policies like these make meritorious students shy away from the Nobel Profession or those who are capable enough to leave the country accounting to brain drain."
Criticizing the government for using force against students, the letter further stated, "The administration managed the issue with utmost disgrace by using water canons and forcefully evacuating students from the dharna site. This sets a very bad precedence of how medical education in general and the medical fraternity in particular is being handled in the country."
PROTEST MARCH🔥Director Office to Deputy Commissioner office today.Timings: 10:00 AMWe will be submitting a memorandum containing our demands to worthy DC. Please join us .Regards Medical students of PGIMS Rohtak@ANI @MirrorNow @TimesNow @TOIIndiaNews @EconomicTimes pic.twitter.com/3Aps1peo8H— IMA-JDN (@imajdnnational) November 10, 2022
United Private Clinics & Hospitals Association of Rajasthan has come in support of the Haryana MBBS students, Writing to the Haryana CM, UPCHAR mentioned, "We are immensely disturbed knowing the way the Haryana police/ administration dealt with the peaceful protest of medical college students against unreasonable bond policy imposed by the government on them. The way these students were manhandled and detained by the police is not a sign of a democratic system."
"UPCHAR stands with the students of Haryana medical colleges and strongly condemns the unreasonable bond policy which is partially imposed only on medical students while other elite courses enjoy a full waiver. We request the Haryana state government to consider the matter raised by the students of its medical colleges with empathy, reason and cooperation," it added.
Barsha completed her MA from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at email@example.com.