Counselling for Bond Service Pending for months: Karnataka Medicos demand cancellation of bond terms
Bengaluru: With continuous delays regarding the counselling for compulsory bond service, the final year undergraduate and postgraduate medical students in Karnataka are facing an uncertain future as they are unable to join anywhere else before fulfilling the bond terms.Frustrated over the continuous postponement for time and again, around 7,000 MBBS and 3,000 MD/MS students of the State...
Bengaluru: With continuous delays regarding the counselling for compulsory bond service, the final year undergraduate and postgraduate medical students in Karnataka are facing an uncertain future as they are unable to join anywhere else before fulfilling the bond terms.
Frustrated over the continuous postponement for time and again, around 7,000 MBBS and 3,000 MD/MS students of the State have now started questioning the government claiming the State medical education system to be a "failure".
Demanding immediate action on the part of the Government, these medicos have started demanding a complete waiver of the one-year mandatory bond service or considering the bond service time period from the declaration of results.
It has been more than four months since the MBBS students completed their internship and the results of the MD/MS students got also published back in June, 2022.
Continuous Postponement by Government:
Although the Government released the notification back on July 18, 2022, it got postponed and a second notification was released on July 28. However, the registration window got extended again for another 12 days. As per the latest notification issued on August 8, the revised schedule has extended the date of registration up to August 18 at 5.00 p.m and it mentions that the vacancy position would be published on August 20, 2022.
Therefore, the medicos are waiting for the counselling to commence on August 20. In case, it gets delayed again, they would consider going to the Court, informed the president of the Karnataka Association of Resident Doctors (KARD), Dr. Tejas.
Disappointment again.— Karnataka Association Of Resident Doctors (@karnatakarda) August 8, 2022
While other states have almost completed the counselling process. We are receiving yet another notification of postponement. For 3 years we worked in the pandemic day and night only to be treated like this. @Comm_dhfwka @mla_sudhakar @DrKSROffice @BSBommai pic.twitter.com/lNdQObNCmG
KARD writes to Government:
In fact, the association has already written to the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) and the State Health and Family Welfare Department. However, the officials have asked the students to wait for the due process.
Writing to the Government officials, the association stated in their letter, "With respect to the corrigendum notification released on 28/07/2022 we would bring to your notice that there was an unsolicited delay of 10 days from the original schedule released. It is already 6th of August and yet there is no clue about the Vacancy list and the department still waits for the approval from finance department. With the university exams being over on May 2022 and results released in June 2022, it's almost 2 months that we have been living with uncertainty and importantly human resources are being wasted."
"If at all the counselling for compulsory medical service is further delayed, It is the clear reflection of the failure of the medical education system in Karnataka. Whereas our neighbouring states having been completed the exams recently are able to conduct the counselling smoothly," it added.
The association referred to the neighbouring State in Maharashtra and mentioned, "Maharashtra-MD/MS results announced on July 15th counselling results will be announced on Aug 8th . Kerala – MD/MS students have joined for compulsory medical service within one week of announcing exam results New Delhi -as the new batch of PGs are yet to join to course ,MD/MS passed out students were made to continue in their respective colleges."
Questioning the Government, KARD further stated in the letter, "Here in Karnataka having highest number of government medical colleges is yet to decide upon vacancies and wasting human resources. Having got MD/MS degree from renowned colleges not able to decide upon the future ,who is held responsible for unemployment of specialist doctors. Is this first time the counselling happening in Karnataka???"
"This is the 3rd consecutive year the counselling for compulsory medical service is being announced and still the government is not able to learn from its previous years mishappenings," it further mentioned.
The association demanded immediate action and mentioned in the letter, "We have been meeting the officials since June 2022 and reminding them again and again to conduct counselling on time. Yet our voices are unheard. We have families to take care, careers to build upon. As the duration of uncertainty increases it has increased our mental stress. The government has to act immediately."
Demands for Cancellation of Bond Period:
Therefore, the doctors under the umbrella of KARD has urged the Government to consider the time from declaration of MD/MS results in the bond period and mentioned, "Further delay in the process will not be tolerated by 2019 batch of MD/MS passout students .
We request you either-
1.Consider the time from declaration of MD/MS results till date in the bond period or
2.Let us free from Compulsory medical service, so that we can at least think of further academics or career."
Speaking about the issue, Dr. Tejas told Medical Dialogues, "For months, around 7,000 MBBS and 3,000 PG medical students have been waiting at their home for their compulsory bond service postings. We have given so many letters to the State DME and the Health Department and still, the counselling process has not been initiated. After several requests, the Government commenced the registration last month. However, the dates are getting postponed again and again and they are telling us that the counselling would be conducted in the normal time only."
"It is the responsibility of the Government to alert us about our bond service posting. However, neither are they allotting us with posting nor are they relieving us from the bond. Without completing the bond these medicos would not be able to join anywhere else and they would not be able to prepare for their NEET PG examination as well," Dr. Tejas explained.
"Those who have completed PG courses thy got their results in May-June. For them also the government has not allotted any posting," he added clarifying that for the PG students the postings would mainly be in the urban areas.
Problems with Funding?
While the Government has been delaying the counselling for bond service posting, the doctors are speculating that there might be an issue with the funding for paying salaries to them.
Explaining that the specialist doctors will get around 65,000 rupees per month, Dr Tejas said, "Unofficially we came to know that there might be some issues with vacancy and finding. The salaries of these doctors need to be cleared by the Finance Department."
Bombay High Court verdict:
With such a long delay over the bond service posting to these medicos, the recent judgment by the Bombay High Court becomes relevant. Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the Bombay High Court had clarified that if the bond service postings are not given within three months from the passing of the final exam, the conditions mentioned in the bond will be treated as infructuous.
Such an observation had been provided by the HC bench comprising of Justice Sujoy Paul, as it referred to Rule 11 of Madhya Pradesh Medical and Dental Post Graduate Course (Degree/Diploma) Admission Rules, 2015 and clarified, "So far bond conditions are concerned, a plain reading of Rule 11 makes it clear that if appointment order is not issued to the successful candidates within three months, the bond conditions will be treated to be cancelled."
Although such rules are applicable only to Maharashtra, the medicos in Karnataka are also considering taking the matter before the Court. Speaking about the same, Dr. Tejas said, "We are waiting for the counselling process to initiate on August 20, after which we will decide if we will approach the Court or not."
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.