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Gujarat High Court issues notice to state over compulsory COVID duty for doctors serving bond

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The Gujarat High Court on Friday issued notice to the state government in a petition filed by over 300 MBBS bonded doctors. The doctors have challenged the health department’s notification calling for compulsory COVID-19 duty for them.

The division bench of Chief Justice – Vikramnath and JB Pardiwala orally observed “Please resist from sending police vans to the doctors, that is very unfair.”

The dean of the college or the health commissioner can complain under section 188 if they want to take any action against them, the court said.

The doctors argument

Advocate Anshin Desai appearing for the petitioner submitted before the court that the police inspector of Satellite police station called them asking them to join duty. One of the doctors told the cop that the matter is pending before Gujarat High Court.

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Also, the postgraduate NEET exam dates have been declared and will be held in April- 2021. The COVID-19 has improved and almost 90% of beds are empty and hence the notification for compulsory COVID-19 duty for those serving bond should be quashed, the petition said.

The health department’s notification under Epidemic Disease Act has no provision that empowers the state to call bonded doctors for compulsory COVID duty.

Gujarat government’s medical colleges require that medical students should join duty in rural areas for a specific period against a bond amount mentioned in the contract, the advocate argued.

The matter is likely to be heard on February 12.

 

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