Doctor gets barred from Practice over pending rural services, approaches high court

Ahmedabad: Demanding the right to practise medicine in Gujarat, a doctor has recently approached the High Court bench seeking relief from the State Government’s decision in this regard.

The doctor, who obtained a PG diploma degree in child healthcare from an autonomous body in Mumbai, was denied registration by the State Government because of her pending rural service for one year.

Challenging the State’s decision, the doctor has approached the High Court bench and argued that the rule regarding mandatory rural service is for students pursuing post graduation in Gujarat and it does not apply to her.

As per Clause 7 of the resolution passed by the Gujarat Medical Council back in 2011, rural service is mandatory for doctors. The State had implemented this policy to deal with the shortage of specialist doctors in the State. Therefore, after introducing new PG curses and increasing PG seats by legislation, the condition for rural service was incorporated in the resolution.

Also Read: New Bond Policy: Gujarat proposes 1.5 years of Mandatory Service for doctors completing MBBS, PG degree

Hailing from Aravalli district, the concerned doctor pursued her MBBS from M S University in Vadodara. After this, she got enrolled for PG Diploma degree in child healthcare at College of Physicians and Surgeons, Mumbai.

Following this, she got her registration from the erstwhile Medical Council of India (MCI), now replaced by the National Medical Commission (NMC), and obtained a provisional certificate for practising in Gujarat. However, she could not continue her practice after a year.

Approaching the Gujarat High Court bench back in 2020, the concerned doctor argued that since she obtained her PG Diploma degree from Mumbai, the State of Gujarat did not spend any money on her studies. According to this logic, it is not mandatory for her to undergo rural service, adds the Times of India.

Further, the doctor submitted before the HC bench that she was previously registered with the erstwhile MCI and therefore, she should be allowed to practise anywhere in the country. The State authorities cannot stop her from practising medicine in Gujarat by not granting her registration, argued the doctor.

At this outset, the doctor also informed the bench that she is also free from her bond for one-year service after completing MBBS course since she paid the penalty amount of Rs 1.5 lakh back in 2020.

During the course of hearing, the doctor further referred to the provision under Section 28 of the GMC Act and argued that the provision of not granting final registration without rural services in in conflict with the provisions under Section 26 of the Medical Council of India Act.

MCI Act is a parliamentary law and it allows a doctor to practise anywhere in India. Further, the central legislation clarifies that the State needs to maintain two registers and after MCI makes an entry about the qualification of a candidate in its register, the State authorities are required to alter their register as well and allow the MCI-registered doctor practise medicine in the State, argued the doctor.

The daily adds that taking note of the argument, the HC bench has asked the Gujarat Medical Council to inform if it maintains two separate registers or one register in two parts under GMC Act and MCI Act. Further the court has also questioned the State if provisional registration of a doctor allows him/her to practise beyond one year.

Also Read: Telangana HC rejects doctors’ plea seeking exemption from mandatory rural service

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