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To tide over shortage, health officials in Uttarakhand to double up as doctors

Under the plan, doctors serving in administrative positions will take out time to perform medical duties and attend to patients besides carrying out their official work, health secretary Nitesh Jha said

dehradun Updated: Nov 15, 2017 20:46 IST
Neha Pant
Neha Pant
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand health crisis,Uttarakhand doctor shortage,medical service providers
A doctor examines a patient at a government hospital in Rishikesh.(HT File)

To tide over the shortage of doctors in Uttarakhand, the health department is come up with a plan which, if implemented, will see health officials take up additional responsibility of medical service providers.

About 200 doctors work in various administrative capacities in the health department in Uttarakhand. Battling a shortage of around 60% doctors, the health department has taken a slew of other measures to improve health services in the state.

The heath department has compiled a list of doctors who reneged on their promise to serve in the state after graduating from government medical colleges. In an interview to HT, chief minister TS Rawat had said the state had 1,100 doctors as against 27,000 posts lying vacant. Rawat had reached out to army chief Bipin Rawat to rope in the services of retired army doctors

Under the plan, doctors serving in administrative positions will take out time to perform medical duties and attend to patients besides carrying out their official work, health secretary Nitesh Jha said. “The director general (medical health and family welfare) should start the initiative and lead by example for other doctors to follow.”

Senior officials of the health directorate and officials of the rank of health directors will be assigned two hospitals each for the purpose of conducting monthly monitoring in improvement of health services, Jha, who recently took over as the health secretary, said.

“Senior doctors and specialists will be asked to serve in hospitals and health centres of remote areas for one week or 15 days based on a roster,” he said, adding that this would help take effective medical care to the far-flung and geographically difficult terrains.

Besides this, the government has also decided not to entertain applications of doctors seeking voluntary retirement in view of the shortage of doctors.

“It will create an environment for the doctors (to serve willingly) for shorter durations as most of them resist serving in the remote locations on a long stretch (of service when they get transferred),” a health official told HT.

First Published: Nov 15, 2017 20:46 IST