The Karnataka government has decided to get tough on doctors who skip the mandatory one year of rural service.
Legal and disciplinary action will be taken against as many as 661 specialist doctors and 27 MBBS graduates for failing to comply with the agreement at the time of admission, The Times of India reports.
On Saturday, Karnataka Health Minister Ramesh Kumar conveyed the government decision to hold the defaulters accountable. Based on the Medical Council of Indiaâ€™s Code of Medical Ethics Regulations 2002, students who choose government seats sign an agreement declaring that they will serve at least one year of rural service upon completion of their courses.
The defaulters have neither served the term, nor paid the penalty of Rs 10 lakh for failure to do so, Minister Ramesh pointed out.
He also added that the defaulting doctors will be served show-cause notices by the Karnataka Medical Council. â€śThey will have to explain why their registration should not be cancelled,â€ť the Minister was quoted as saying.
The Minister also noted that between 2008 and 2014, 3,323 doctors had failed to take up rural service.
Shalini Rajneesh, Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare), told The Hindu that the defaulters will face disciplinary action by the KMC and legal action by the Health Department.
â€śSeveral notices sent by the Health Department to the postgraduate doctors have fallen on deaf ears. Hence, while legal action is being initiated by the department against the defaulters, simultaneous disciplinary action by the KMC may encourage these specialists to serve in our Community Health Centres and taluk hospitals for one year, thus fulfilling their written commitment," the Principal Secretary said.
In December 2016, Rashmi Belur reported for The New Indian Express that of the 4000 students who graduated in 2016, only 12 had opted for rural service.