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Haryana Bond System: IMA extends support to protesting MBBS students

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Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Wednesday extended its support for the MBBS doctors protesting against the bond policy in PGI Rohtak, Haryana.

The IMA denounced the state’s harshness and oppressive actions. “We request Haryana CM that a constructive discourse must be established to consider the demand and that the bond system is scrapped/modified,” IMA said in a statement.

Doctors at various government hospitals in Delhi wore black ribbons at work in solidarity with the MBBS students in Haryana’s Rohtak protesting against a policy that mandated them to pay a bond fee of around 10 lakh during admission.

The Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA) has given a call for the nationwide black ribbon protest, saying it was in response to the alleged police action against the MBBS students of a Rohtak medical college who were protesting against the “new bond policy”.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had, on November 2, said no student will have to deposit the 10 lakh bond amount at the time of admission for MBBS in government colleges.

According to a Haryana government statement, the students will instead have to sign a bond-cum-loan agreement of the amount with the college and the bank concerned.

“If the MBBS/MD passouts wish to join the state government and serve for seven years, the government will finance the bond amount. But candidates who do not want to join government services in Haryana will have to pay the amount themselves,” the statement said.

The bachelor’s degrees of such students will be issued only after they have met all the financial liabilities. The Haryana government said it has taken such a measure to encourage students to serve in government hospitals after their studies.

The announcement was made on a day the MBBS students at Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Rohtak held a protest against the policy.

Many doctors at the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital, Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) hospital and the Centre-run Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia hospital and Safdarjung hospital sported black ribbons at work, a FORDA official said.

On November 5, in a letter to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, the FORDA said, “An unwarranted fee hike in the form of a despicable bond policy followed by police action on innocent doctors who have given their best in all circumstances, including the COVID-19 pandemic, shows the apathy and weak memory the government has.”

This incident will not only “bring down the morale of doctors” in the state in particular and the country in general, but will also “widen the gap between doctors and the government”, it wrote.

Many media reports and video clips purportedly showing the alleged police action against the MBBS students are circulating on the social media platform.

“We stand in solidarity with the doctors of Haryana,” the Safdarjung hospital RDA had said.

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