Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Medical students going to USA have to promise to return

In one of the most inexplicable moves ever made by the Union Health Minister, Indians who want to go to USA for higher medical studies will have to sign a bond with the Ministry of Health and honour the document by returning home after finishing their courses. 

USA has, for reasons that I don't know of right now, made it mandatory for students to get a NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the Government to enroll in an American Institute. I'll update the blog when I find out the reason. 

Government says that if the students don't come back then they will write to the American government and bar that person from getting a license to practice there. Also it is not clear for how many years the government wants to students to stay in India after they force them back post studies. This apparently is going to stop Brain Drain. 

First of all I don't believe that brain drain is a problem. India has become such a power to reckon with because of the impression that Indians have created and the work Indians have done in foreign countries. It is how we have created out soft power. Also, Indians send a lot of money home. It's almost enviable. There are so many villages in India which have developed only because of the money their erstwhile residents have sent from their foreign locations. 

AIIMS has come out with a stat that is costs around 1.7 crore to produce a single MBBS student. It includes all the expenses and subsidies that the government spends on them. So this move is to apparently get all that money back through taxes. 

India has one doctor for every 1700 citizens. This ratio is very low compared to a lot of other countries. A recent Planning Commission report said that India is short of 6 lakh doctors, 10 lakh nurses and 2 lakh dental surgeons. I agree that India needs medical professionals but that does not mean you put reins on anyone and everyone you can get your hands on. 

If its just a matter of getting back subsidies so that they can be used to benefit others, then I have a solution to it. Remove the subsidies. Make everyone pay full amount. If the student works in a government hospital (urban or rural) for 10 years, then reimburse the fees. Although the government will have to improve the accountability system in government hospitals for this to be meaningful. 

A relatively easier solution is to allow and incentivise private universities to come up. Stop holding on to the 'noble profession' tag. Private individuals will not be ready to invest if there is no profit motive. If the government can't do its work properly then it should atleast let the private sector give it a try. Checking the quality of teaching in private institutions will be a cause of worry but then government colleges are not in very good shape themselves. 

The government declared the National Rural Health Mission without thinking about where they will get the manpower from and now they are looking for slaves. Disgusting. 

Dear Government,
You are not supposed to control. You are supposed to regulate. Stop coming up with random schemes and messing with development which is going on inspite of you rather than because of you. 
Frustrated Student

Update: Read - Swaminomics: The Fundamental Right to Migrate 


  1. Way off reality man! Even Singapore has 2 yr compulsory service.
    Do away subsidy? Fees uncle dega?

  2. Fees uncle nahi denge. There is no subsidy in private schools and ofcourse in tuition classes. There we pay full fees. No subsidy. Uncle nahi kabhi nahi dete. Subsidies are given from the money that we pat as taxes. Why should we bear imposition of such rules when we are being taken care of by our own money?

    I am not sure about the situation in Singapore so I can't comment on that.

  3. Achilles, That 'uncle fees' came from the suggestion from the author that subsidy in medical edu be removed. That does not obviously point towards private colleges.
    Most private medical colleges are business ventures in guise of educational societies, and most of them have obtained government land at a pittance. That should clear your views on being educated entirely on your dads money, without any element of subsidy.

  4. is it applicable evven to students who r doctors and married to usa citizens and have green card?

  5. Rascal: I agree that a lot of subsidies are already being given by the government. It is for this reason that I am proposing to reduce the subsidies in a step by step manner. The prospective solutions given by me in the blog are basic ideas. The basic idea is to liberalise the market. I know a lot of educational societies make money out of schools and colleges. That money can be legally earned and can reach the shareholders of the companies which start such schools. If you don't allow it, they will siphon. If we make it legal, we can atleast keep a tab on it. It will increase accountability.

    Sana: No I don't think it is. This rule is going to be applicable from this year onwards. All past students will not be affected by it.


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