With an aim to meet the acute shortage of doctors in various state government hospitals, the Delhi government has decided to engage retired government services for the various posts in the hospital. The move is aimed at bringing down the existing burden from the hospital.A letter by department of health family welfare has directed all medical superintendents to designate a nodal officer in their respective hospitals for receiving the applications for the post.”These officers will help in handling the posts in medical/paramedical/nursing and other administrative posts. The vacant posts will be identified by the medical institutions and thereafter these will be filled by the officers,” said a senior official from the health department.The latest CAG report had also highlighted the problem of shortage of doctors and paramedical staff in the government-run institutes. “There was limited availability of medicines and equipments in 17 states, while 428 equipment (ultrasound, X-ray, ECG, cardiac monitors, auto-analyser, incinerator, OT equipment, blood storage unit etc.) costing Rs30.39 crore were lying idle/unutilised due to non-availability of doctors and trained manpower to operate the equipment, lack of adequate space for their installation. In 13 states at least 67 Public Health Centres were functioning without any doctor,” the CAG report pointed out.At Maulana Azad Medical College, 80 per cent seats for pre-clinical posts in post-graduation courses are vacant. However, the resident doctors are not too happy with the decision.”If they will hire the retired officers, what will happen to the young doctors who are looking for a job,” said Dr Vivek Chouksey, president, Federation of Resident Doctors’ Association (FORDA).”The government needs to have a recruitment policy that ensures all courses get adequate applicants who graduate as doctors in various departments,” says Dean Dr Siddharth Ramji.India has seven doctors for every 10,000 people, half the global average, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Data from the Indian Medical Association (IMA) shows the country needs more than 50,000 critical care specialists, but has just 8,350.The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is responsible for the recruitment of regular doctors at hospitals run by both the Delhi government as well as the Centre. Hospitals themselves hire ad-hoc and contractual doctors. Experts say the UPSC’s recruitment process is tedious. From advertisements about vacancies to final interviews, the commission spends years to hire a doctor, they say.
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