Dehradun: In spite of more than a decade of its formation, Uttarakhand is still reeling under acute shortage of doctors with the government failing to attract physicians to the hilly state and retain them.

According to sources, the state health department has just 40 percent doctors of the available vacancy.

However, huge migration of 100 doctors from the Haldwani Medical College to other states has added to the plight of the state.

The upcoming promotions of the doctors by the Cabinet will lead to 50 more practitioners pulling out of medical practice and joining administrative positions. As many of the promoted doctors are specialists, the situation is expected to turn worse. Moreover, the much-awaited final allocation of 110 doctors to Uttar Pradesh will also contribute to the problem.

The state government’s proposal to the Centre to double the salaries of the doctors on contract to deal with the crisis is still in deep waters.

The sources have revealed that the health department has written to the Commission to fill up the vacancies. But it will not be of much help as the recruitment process will take a year to produce any results.

Notably, observing the trend of doctors migrating to other states for better prospects, the government had made rules to admit students in medical colleges after completion of intermediate at a nominal fee. These students were made to sign a declaration to serve in the state for five years after attaining the degree.

The state government has now decided to keep their original certificates and documents for a period of five years to make their service in the state mandatory.