JAIPUR: To provide better health facilities to the people, the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan plans to bring the Right to Healthcare Bill soon.
However, many hospitals in rural areas of the state are closed due to shortage of doctors and health workers.
Rajasthan’s Health Minister Parsadi Lal Meena has now opened a front against over 3,000 government doctors who are posted in villages, towns and smaller districts, but use their influence to get recommended for additional posts in big cities, which enables them to avoid rural posting.
The minister’s announcement in the assembly to end the deputations of government doctors who stay in cities despite being posted in rural areas has caused a stir.
Due to the reluctance of doctors to serve in villages, over 3,500 posts of doctors are lying vacant in rural areas across the entire state. Most doctors want to stay in capital Jaipur, where 161 doctors are engaged in the super-speciality hospitals of SMS College.
Given the elections in December next year, the Gehlot government is focusing on health sector and Meena’s announcement is being seen an attempt to address the shortcomings in the medical facilities in rural areas and far-flung districts.
According to sources in the health department, there are 3,688 posts of doctors in 33 districts. About 1,000 doctors are posted in medical colleges without any posts, although they get their salary from the place where they are posted.
“I have seen such community health centres (CHCs) where not a single doctor is present. There are six CHCs and 200 Primary Health Centers where there are no doctors. This is a matter of great concern,” Meena said.
He said the government has recruited 12,000 ANMs (auxiliary nurse and midwives) under the National Rural Health Mission. Yet, 1700 sub-centres have no ANMs.
The minister appealed to MLAs not to come to him with recommendations, nor entertain such recommendations themselves in matters of postings and deputations.