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HC irked as doctors fail to join rural health centres

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 20:59

Mumbai: Bombay High Court on Wednesday expressed displeasure and anguish after it was informed that despite issuance of orders to 225 post graduate doctors to join district hospitals and rural health care centres for mandatory one-year medical service there, only 90 have joined.

A division bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MS Sonak was hearing a PIL filed by Purnima Upadhyay, seeking proper implementation of schemes introduced by both Centre and the state government to reduce malnourishment in Melghat area of Maharashtra.

The court on the last hearing was informed that in 2012-13, there were 4,878 posts available in district hospitals and rural health care centres. 6,930 candidates were available but only 1,702 students remained present for counselling and 1,473 allotments were made.

The court was irked as to why the government was not revoking the bond amount taken from the students if they fail to serve the mandatory one year period in rural centres.

Additional government pleader Neha Bhide today informed the court that the government had on August 14 issued 225 orders directing the students to join service within seven days. However, only 90 have joined so far.

"So what action has the government taken against the students who have not joined the service? Why don`t they revoke the bond?" Justice Chandrachud questioned.

Bhide said the government has issued notice to the students and directed them to join the service within a month, failing which their bond amount would be revoked.

The court was also informed that of the 90 students who have been appointed at various district hospitals and rural health care centres, none have been allotted to the Melghat region which is worse hit by malnutrition.

"But there are so many vacancies. Gynaecologists, pediatricians and anaesthetists are all critical posts which need to be filled up soon. What is the government doing?" the court asked.

The bench has directed the government to prepare a statement by tomorrow on how many posts were vacant in Melghat, how many students were available for allotment, how many posts have been filled up in other tribal areas.


First Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 20:58

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