Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today directed the state health and medical education departments to go for immediate recruitment of doctors and nurses at the GB Pant Hospital here as part of measures to bring down the high infant mortality rate.
"There is no need to wait for Public Service Commission to fill up the posts. I have directed the authorities concerned to conduct walk-in interviews for doctors and nurses," he told reporters after visiting the lone paediatrics hospital in the valley.
He said the appointments shall be on ad hoc basis till full-time arrangements were made.
Azad said the state government should adopt this procedure in other districts of the state as well, in case of need.
Azad's visit comes against the backdrop of more than 360 deaths of infants in the hospital since January this year.
Azad announced that patients up to the age of one month will be provided all medicines free of cost at the hospital. He said the Centre has already released Rs 62 crore to the state on this account but the centrally-sponsored scheme has not been implemented here so far.
"I have directed the doctors that this scheme should be implemented from tomorrow. If any infant up to the age of one month has to get any (clinical) test done outside, the hospital will bear the expenses," he said.
Noting that there was lack of cleanliness in the hospital, he issued instructions to officers concerned to ensure proper hygiene inside the hospital.