Karnataka introduces updated mandatory service rules for doctors

BENGALURU: The state government has introduced the updated Rules for Karnataka Compulsory Completion of Medical Courses (Advisory, Allotment and Certification) (Amendment) of Candidates, 2024.

The rules were officially published on March 16, 2024, after seeking public feedback, which received no responses. The new rules are intended to improve the process of assigning medical graduates to mandatory service positions. They came into force immediately upon their publication in the government gazette.

The government updated the rules for compulsory national service for medical graduates and introduced new definitions for ‘exemption’, i.e. exemption from one year of compulsory service, and ‘salary’, i.e. the stipend determined by the state government . The terms “training” and “trainee” have been removed from the rules.

New members have been added to the committee responsible for overseeing the service, including the Registrar of the Karnataka Medical Council and the Chief Administrative Officer of Health and Family Welfare Services. In addition, a grievance committee has been set up to address issues related to counseling and appointments, comprising officials from the health and education departments in Bengaluru.

The Complaints Committee monitors and handles issues related to the guidance and appointment of candidates and makes recommendations to the competent authority. To allocate candidates to the compulsory service, the nodal university must collect candidate lists from all universities, including private and deemed universities, immediately after the results are declared.

During the online counseling, candidates can choose a preferred location or exemption based on merit. If their choice is not available, they can be assigned a random location. Candidates not granted a waiver must serve at the assigned location.

Registrars of deemed and private universities must submit lists of candidates for compulsory service. During the counseling, a priority list is drawn up, with preference given to candidates or their family members who are dealing with serious or terminal illnesses without available treatments at their assigned location. Candidates who miss guidance, fail to select a location or fail to report on time will face fines: Rs 15 lakh for MBBS, Rs 20 lakh for diploma, Rs 25 lakh for MD/MS and Rs 30 lakh for super specialty courses.