The Himachal Pradesh government is contemplating to increase the bond money for doctors studying in state medical colleges manifold to make them serve in the state.
“The MBBS doctors will be asked to shell Rs.50 lakh in case they choose to opt service outside Himachal government. For specialists, the amount would be Rs one Crore,” Himachal health minister, Kaul Singh Thakur told media persons.
He said the MBBS would not be allowed to take retirement before 20 years and the specialist doctors would not be allowed pre-mature retirement at all.
“We are taking the issue to the cabinet very soon,” he said.
Principal Secretary, Health, Prabodh Saxena said the issue will have to be discussed in a meeting over some points, including an important judgement of the Supreme Court and revised guidelines of the Medical Council of India.
Himachal Pradesh is facing shortage of 550 doctors. The cadre strength presently is 2157. In the previous government, it was 1597. In HP, over 70% population is dependent on government health sector.
The government has been conducting walk-in interviews of doctors regularly in HP to meet the shortage.
The bond money, which was filled in the form of bank guarantee, earlier was Rs five lakh for MBBS doctors and Rs.10 lakh for specialists. A good number of doctors, who studied in state medical colleges in Shimla and Tanda, have chosen to work outside Himachal Pradesh, but the government had not been able to make them pay bond money.
“We will have the notices sent to the doctors, who have violated the conditions of bond in the past also,” said the minister.
The doctors, however, say the government move is illogical. “The government should first improve the service conditions for the doctors in state and have a proper transfer policy for them so that they don’t feel victimised. Most of the doctors leave the state government job only because of harassment and lesser perks,” they said.
They said the government’s policy for allowing deputation to doctors in central government or other organisations was also partial and favours few, which creates resentment in general and make them leave the job.