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Frame a uniform policy on compulsory rural service for doctors: Supreme Court


The Supreme Court has recently suggested the Government to frame a uniform policy for compulsory rural service for doctors. Supreme Court suggested that compulsory service will be rendered by doctors who are trained in government institutions.

The Supreme Court asked the Medical Council of India and Centre Government to frame a uniform policy that will be applicable across the country.  The court asked that suitable steps should be taken by centre and MCI to have a uniform policy on compulsory rural service by doctors.

About the case

• The Association of Medical Super Speciality Aspirants and Residents and others had challenged the state government’s regulations that imposed a condition of compulsory service for a minimum fixed period with the state.
• Doctors said in their appeal that such a condition violate the right of an individual to carry on his profession.
• Doctors complained that it amounted to ‘forced labour’ in violation of their constitutional right and would impede the progress of their careers.
• On the other hand, the Supreme Court said that doctors across the country are bound by the compulsory bonds executed by them at the time of their admission in post-graduate courses.
• The Supreme Court also noted that the huge infrastructure has to be developed across the nation for providing healthcare services.

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Compulsory Rural Healthcare Service in India

• At present, some states like Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal have imposed the provision of compulsory service. 
• The Supreme Court ruled in favour of the policy so that deprived sections of the society can avail the benefit of it. 
• The SC ruled that compulsory bonds to be executed by the doctors before their admissions to postgraduate and super speciality courses.
• According to the reports, there are 176 doctors for every ten thousand people. However, in rural areas, hardly eight doctors are providing services to 10,000 people.

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