Pune, March 28: Doctors based at the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) in Pune may soon have to pay an exit bond of at least Rs 2 crore if they decide to quit the military. Officials at AFMC said the move, suggested by a panel which looks at defence ministry’s functioning, is in a bid to cease the practice of students not opting to serve as doctors in the military after completing their education.

Currently, doctors who quit after a post-graduate course are required to furnish Rs 28 lakh and doctors who leave after an undergraduate degree will have to pay Rs 25 lakh for their release. It is being said that panel has asked that the relieving money be increased to Rs 2 crore for the post-graduate course and Rs. 1 crore for undergraduate course respectively.

Speaking on the same, Lieutenant General SD Duhan (retd), a former commandant of the Army’s Research and Referral (R&R) Hospital and a former AFMC professor said even a sum of Rs. 2 Crore was less considering the quality of education and training the AFMC students received.

He added that the exit bond money must be further increased. Retd. Lieutenant General Duhan said that the relevance of an army doctor is lost from the moment students opt out of the course for a better fortune. He added that being an Army doctor required selfless service.

However, defence ministry representatives shared a different perspective altogether. They were of the view that if stringent actions such as hiking the bond money is done then students might not join AFMC in the first place. The panel did not share the same view as that of the defence ministry representatives and said that India had no dearth of talent and there were quite a number of people vying for such courses.

AFMC intakes at least 130 students every year for the MBBS course. Students quit the military, citing reasons as- desire to pursue post graduation immediately after MBBS, moving abroad, private practice, no proper choice of service, no permanent commission, and no growth within the AFMS (armed forces medical services).