Reform pill for health:The Tarun Gogoi government has promised to appoint more doctors and nurses for rural areas,
Posted by egovindia on June 30, 2006
|Reform pill for health|
|A STAFF REPORTER|
Guwahati, June 29: The Tarun Gogoi government has promised to appoint more doctors and nurses for rural areas, equip all civil hospitals with mobile medical units and revamp existing infrastructure in a major overhaul of the state’s mothballed healthcare system.
The government has decided to rationalise postings of doctors in urban and rural hospitals to ensure that from now on, doctors cannot back out from working in rural public health centres.
Health and family welfare minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told the media today that the new regime had cleared all formalities and appointed 200 doctors in less than a month after taking charge. He claimed that around 100 newly appointed doctors had expressed their willingness to go to any part of the state to serve the rural people.
Walk-in interviews were conducted in the past two weeks.
“I am keeping my fingers crossed that all 200 doctors will now join their duties wherever the government wishes to post them. We are appointing 76 retired doctors at different hospitals, including some rural ones. As many as 53 new nurses have already joined duty. Interviews to select 1,000 more nurses will begin from July 6. Within a month, we will see a significant rise in the number of doctors and nurses serving in rural areas,” Sarma said.
The minister announced that all district civil hospitals would be equipped with mobile medical units especially to serve people living in the remote areas.
Each mobile unit will consist of three vehicles. A Tata Sumo will ferry doctors and nurses, a Maruti van will be used as a makeshift diagnostic centre and another van will double as an operation theatre.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to inaugurate the project on October 12.
Conceding that several aspects of the healthcare sector still needed to be streamlined, Sarma said the policy of rationalising postings would take effect within three months.
He said the government would pay a consolidated amount of Rs 3,000 as an incentive to each doctor serving in a rural area.
Sarma disclosed that the government has taken the initiative to renovate and improve infrastructures in a major way at rural hospitals. An amount of Rs 40 lakh has been sanctioned to each of 70 civil hospitals in different districts for renovating them. Under this scheme, at least three hospitals in every district of the state would be renovated and facilities revamped.
The project will include repairs of doctors’ quarters, outdoor patient units and operation theatres at the civil hospitals.
Sarma promised that funds would not be a constraint for bringing about a sea change in the health sector. He disclosed that the health department has received an amount of Rs 320 crore for the current financial year under the 12th Finance Commission. The department has also been awarded another tranche of Rs 80 crore under the National Rural Health Mission.