Published On: Sat, Oct 31st, 2015

Over 200 docs refuse to join duty over poor health conditions in the state

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Reflecting upon the poor health conditions prevailing in Uttarakhand, as many as 227 doctors who were appointed through seventh Uttarakhand Public Service Commission have refused to join duty.

State government had appointed 402 doctors for Uttarakhand in June 2015 but till date, only 175 doctors have joined. In Garhwal region, 240 doctors were appointed and in Kumaon region, 162 doctors. However, department has so far not been successful in persuading the remaining 227 doctors to join. The selected candidates under special circumstances are given three months’ time for joining but no one has joined even after the time elapsed.

The department was hopeful to get several specialists doctors on board and that they would improve the ‘health’ of Uttarakhand. However, the health services of the state are still in a shambles. Worse affected is Bageshwar district, where of the 21 doctors who were appointed, only four joined. Similarly, in Chamoli, 43 doctors were appointed but only nine reported for work.

The doctors those didn’t turned up for duty were mostly posted in the uphill regions. However, in the plains, the response is better. According to sources at the health directorate, in Dehradun, out of 13 appointments, 10 have joined.

The disinterested doctors’ list is a reflection of poor HR policy and facilities crafted by the state for one of the most skilled professionals in Uttarakhand. The issue of poor policies has stirred not only doctors but also among contractual workers and technical staff of the health department. There have been a series of protests and strikes in the past by the staff of the health department ranging from nurses to pharmacists — demanding urgent requirement to put in place work and transfer guidelines but nothing proved useful as till date, there is no such policy.

Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) in its health report for Uttarakhand, clearly stated there is an urgent need for installing health policies in the state for uplift of public health system.

Guest Doctor Scheme turns out to be a flop

Almost two years ago, the Uttarakhand health department has started a “guest doctor scheme”, wherein any doctor who would be visiting Uttarakhand for about 15 days could render his service to the state. His/her boarding/lodging and special incentives would be given. But, not more than 10 such doctors offered their service to the state.

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