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By Way2k Way2k
Way2k 5 Oct 2012
Medical student have to sign bond

Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad's proposal to deal with a lack of qualified doctors in India - by implementing measures to make it difficult for Indians to practise abroad - is deeply problematic. According to him, any student going to the US for further medical studies will have to first sign a bond guaranteeing that he will return to India after his studies are complete.

Medical student have to sign bond

And if he doesn't, given that the US now intends to ask for a government-issued no-objection certificate for every student enrolling in an American institute, the government apparently plans to leverage this to ask relevant US authorities to deny the student permission to practise. Granted, the country desperately needs to hold on to qualified medical professionals. And also granted the government subsidises medical education via its medical institutes. But this sort of coercion is entirely the wrong approach.

Firstly, the bond appears unenforceable in practice, if a doctor should be inclined to escape it. Second, even assuming that doctors universally obey their obligations under the bond, it can satisfy only a small fraction of the demand for medical personnel at home. The problem of a lack of doctors at home cannot be approached as a zero-sum game. The fact of the matter is that there is a substantial demand-supply mismatch when it comes to medical education here. Neither there are educational or employment opportunities in a number of advanced medical fields.

Similarly, public health infrastructure in India is in a shambles. If India could educate more doctors and provide them a more conducive environment, the problem would take care of itself. Incentives rather than bans will produce better results, inducing even migrant doctors to come back home where they could apply specialised skills learnt abroad, and contribute to the advance of medicine in India.

Courtesy: Times of India

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