New Delhi: Despite all sorts of promises by Union Ministry OF Spurt Health to improve health care services in the rural parts of the country, unfortunately the sanctioned posts of doctors in the hospitals located in these areas have reportedly upto 40 vacancies. This has been admitted even by the concerned ministry. The available data in this regard is enough to tell the reality.

In Primary Health Centers, nearly eight thousand posts of medical officers out of the total 30 thousand sanctioned posts are lying vacant. There is a provision that the unprivileged people should get the services of the specialist doctors at Community Health Centers (CHC). There are nearly ten thousand sanctioned posts of specialist doctors at CHCs out of which four thousand are lying vacant. This means, the rural areas in the country where hospital buildings, beds for the patients and other medical facilities are available are deprived of medical services due to non-availability of the doctors. In a total of 24 thousand sanctioned posts of pharmacists for PHCs and CHCs, nearly five thousand are lying vacant.

Most shocking reality is that this pathetic condition of rural health care machinery is persistent despite Centre’s ambitious scheme- National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)- which is being run for the past seven years and over Rs 60,000 has already been spent on this scheme. According to former health secretary P Hota, even after the implementation of NRHM, no arrangements were made for proper availability of doctors at the health centres. He further mentioned that the lodging facilities provided to the health employees including doctors is of worst quality.

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad, says that government is making all efforts to fill the vacant posts of medical officers in the rural areas as soon as possible and state governments have been advised on many occasions to provide extra allowance to the doctors working in the rural areas.

Mukesh Kejariwal/JPN

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