CHANDIGARH: The Punjab government is all set to reduce the compulsory bond service period for in-service doctors pursuing postgraduate and diploma courses. However, it plans to increase the penalty for failing to fulfill the bond condition, making it a mixed bag for the aspirants.
In the proposed postgraduate policies for 2023-24, for which suggestions have been invited, the indemnity bond period for Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) doctors securing admission in post-graduation degree courses has been reduced from 10 years to 7 years and in PG diploma course from 6 years to 4 years. The bond amount has been increased from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 75 lakh for the PG degree course and from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 45 lakh for the PG diploma course.
The state government will invoke the bond against doctors who fail to complete the prescribed minimum service after the course. Noncompliance of conditions will be treated as gross misconduct and the department will get the registration of erring doctors struck off from the register of the Punjab Medical Council/Punjab Dental Council,
The Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA) welcomed the proposed move of the government to reduce the service tenure of the indemnity bond but urged it not to increase the current Rs 50 lakh indemnity bond amount. It requested the government to rationalize and reduce the amount in proportion to the length of service specified in the bond period. To ensure uniformity and parity, the body also suggested that the reduction in service tenure should also apply to existing bonded candidates.
As medical officers who want to pursue higher education have to sign multiple indemnity bonds at each level of further study, the association demanded that a single indemnity bond of a maximum amount should be valid for pursuing PG diploma/post diploma/degree/fellowship/super specialtycourses. It also pointed out that the selected in-service PCMS/PCMS(dental) doctors have to face inconvenience due to delay in the issue of NOC and demanded that it be issued in a time-bound manner through a single window mechanism.