Doctors shy away from rural posting in Assam

GUWAHATI:  Where are the doctors in rural Assam? Over 650 posts of doctors are lying vacant in government hospitals in Assam, even as newly- recruited doctors have shown reluctance to take up positions in rural areas, the State government admitted.

Replying to a matter raised under Rule 301 in the Legislative Assembly today by AGP MLA Phani Bhushan Choudhury, Minister for Health Nazrul Islam said that there are a total of 658 posts of doctors lying vacant.

“We have given appointment to 322 doctors last month. But only 80 of them have joined their posts. The rest do not want to go. They want to be accommodated at places of their own choice,” Islam said.

He added that the government has recently formed a Rationalization Committee to ensure that there is proper management of postings across the State.

“During 1970s, most of the doctors were from families in rural areas and they had no problems in being posted in villages. Now most of the doctors come from affluent families and they are reluctant to be posted in rural areas,” said the Minister. Islam said there is an acute shortage of manpower with regard to qualified doctors.

He said during the 1970s around 300 doctors used to graduate every year from medical colleges in the State, while their numbers have now reached about  420 annually.

“We will need time to cover the manpower shortage. Till then we have to rationalize. Three new medical colleges are coming up and they will help to increase the number of doctors,” Islam said.

He accepted that the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is the State remains quite high but argued that they have fallen since introduction of the National Health Mission.

Earlier, raising the issue Choudhury said that the condition of health care sector in Assam is pathetic and the rate of MMR and IMR in the State is the highest across India. He also said that the condition of district hospitals and sub-divisional hospitals is deplorable across Assam with all such centres facing shortage of doctors.

Choudhury said that even in Titabor, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s constituency, medicine supply has not been received by the Titabor Civil Hospital since beginning of this year.

“There is no discrimination in this regard. Even in the Chief Minister’s constituency the condition of government hospitals and health care centres is pathetic,” Choudhury said, also giving example of the Bongaigaon Civil Hospital by citing figures of dwindling number of patients seeking treatment.

“People say that the Health Minister has understanding with private nursing homes of Bongaigaon to ensure that doctors are not posted in government hospitals,” he said in a lighter note, adding that this shows people’s lack of faith in the State health care sector.

 

He was supported by his colleague and fellow AGP MLA Keshab Mahanta who called for regular meetings of the District Health Societies.

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Posted by on December 16, 2014. Filed under Assam,Breaking News,NORTH EAST. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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