Defence ministry says no to army doctors in two Uttarakhand hospitals

In a setback to the efforts to boost health facilities, the defence ministry has turned down the Uttarakhand government’s request to the army to take over the management of two state-run medical colleges

dehradun Updated: Sep 23, 2017 20:02 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand News,Defence ministry,army
Paucity of doctors is so acute in the hills that the state government recently transferred a large number of doctors to the hill districts. (HT Photo)

In a setback to the efforts to boost health facilities, the defence ministry has turned down the Uttarakhand government’s request to the army to take over the management of two state-run medical colleges.

In a letter to chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, former defence minister Arun Jaitley recently turned down the government’s proposal. Jaitley expressed the army’s inability to take over the management of the state-run medical college in Srinagar and the other coming up in Almora.

Cabinet minister Madan Kaushik confirmed Jaitley expressed the army’s inability to let its doctors manage the two medical colleges. “We will again make a representation to the defence ministry urging the latter to spare its retired medical specialists to run the twin state-run medical colleges,” he told HT.

The proposal was made as part of the Rawat government’s move to boost medical facilities and also deal with the acute paucity of doctors dogging the state-run hospitals in hilly areas.

As per an official note released sometime back, Army chief General Bipin Rawat during his meeting with the chief minister “agreed in-principle” to the latter’s proposal that the army’s retired medical specialists are permitted to man the medical colleges. The proposal was made to boost the medical facilities and deal with acute paucity of doctors in the hills, sources said.

In a recent interview with HT, Rawat had said some medical specialists from the army had offered to join Srinagar Medical College. He also said some retired doctors from the army could also be hired for other state-run hospitals in the hills.

The paucity of doctors is so acute in the hills that the Rawat government recently transferred a large number of doctors to the hill districts. The problem has its root in the doctors’ unwillingness to take up postings in remote areas owing to lack of basic facilities there. The previous Congress government had offered a lot of incentives to doctors to take up postings in the hills, but the strategy failed to yield the desired results.

First Published: Sep 23, 2017 20:02 IST