NEW DELHI (TIP): With 85 doctors pre-maturely leaving military service for the much greener pastures in the civilian world since 2011, the government has hiked the bond money to Rs 25-30 lakh in a bid to stem the exodus from the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS). Defence minister Arun Jaitley told Lok Sabha on Friday that the amount of the “bond” — which candidates taking admission in the Armed Forces Medical College for MBBS have to execute and pay if they leave service before 20 years — has been raised from the current academic year.

While the pre-revised bond money was Rs 15 lakh for the MMBS course in AFMS colleges, it is now pegged at Rs 25 lakh. Similarly, it has been hiked from Rs 5 lakh for civilian candidates and Rs 15 lakh for AFMS doctors to Rs 25 lakh for those undertaking post-graduate MD/MS courses. The bond for post-doctoral super-speciality courses is now Rs 30 lakh from the earlier Rs 5 lakh. “It has also been decided that the above bond money will be enhanced by Rs 1 lakh per year for the next five years,” said Jaitley.

The number of doctors who opted out of military service by paying the bond money stood at 26 in 2011, 19 each in 2012 and 2013, and 21 till now this year. The AFMS, which looks after the health services in the 13 lakh strong armed forces, has around 5,800 doctors and 620 dentists at present. There were 205 new doctors commissioned in the AFMS in 2011, 234 in 2012, 307 in 2013 and 93 till now this year.

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