The Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday ordered a section of MBBS degree holders from the government medical colleges to either serve in state's remote areas for five years or return subsidies on their fees with interest, honouring their prior agreement.
A bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma gave the direction on a state government's petition seeking doctors to honour their prior agreement with the government to enjoy heavy concession in their fees to pursue MBBS from government medical colleges.
The state government had moved the court challenging the order of single-judge bench, which had relaxed the terms of the agreement and had relieved the doctors from their obligation to serve in state's remote areas for five years in lieu of the heavy concession on their fees. The high court division bench asked doctors to reimburse the government subsidies on their fees with an 18 percent interest.
To address the perineal problem of medical professionals' disinclination to serve in remote areas of the state, the state government had earlier launched a scheme. The scheme provided heavy concessions in fees to MBBS students, who undertook to serve in state's remote areas for five years after completing their course.
After completing their course, the doctors, however, had moved the high court and had got themselves rid of the obligation to serve in the state's hilly areas. State government's Chief Standing Counsel Paresh Tripathi said the conditions of the scheme were given in the prospectus and brochures before admission, on which the doctors had duly signed.
He further said these doctors wanted to avoid the terms of the agreement. After division bench's order, these doctors will have to report to duty in state's remote areas within six months or reimburse the heavy concession, enjoyed by them for pursuing their MBBS degree course, with an 18 percent interest, said Tripathi.