Lucknow: The decision taken by Mayawati government in its first Cabinet meeting, after it came to power in 2007, to employ doctors on contractual basis for bettering health services in rural areas had given enough hints that it is well aware of the state of health services in the state.

However, the government’s decision failed to meet its targets as doctors were unwilling to serve in the rural areas.

It may be noted that the state government wanted to appoint 1500 doctors on contract basis but were able to employ only 400.

One of the most significant reasons for the doctors’ unwillingness to join the services was the salary being offered to them. The state government had proposed a salary of Rs 18,000 for the contractual doctors. The provision that Rs 500 will be deducted from their salary in case of any day’s absence proved to be another disincentive.

In order to fulfill its promise, the UP government even tried to employ AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) doctors for the project, the central government played a spoilsport.

The Centre said that when the AYUSH doctors have no degree in Allopath, how can they be appointed to treat patients with Allopath medicine?

Noticeably, Central government’s National Rural Health Mission has also failed to comply with the rural health services in the state. Central grants have been able to revamp the hospitals, but have been unable to meet the minimum number of staff members.

In fact, the Mission after receiving a financial aid of Rs 6000 crore accentuated corruption. The recent murder cases of two Lucknow CMOs also rocked the state. Two ministers of Family Welfare and Health Department had to resign in connection with the case. The Government had itself admitted that corruption has plagued the department.

Director General Dr SP Ram said that efforts were being made to eliminate the shortage of doctors and paramedical staff.

“Nearly 389 doctors have been appointed through the Public Service Commission. The government is even trying hard to overcome the technical obstacles in the contractual appointments,” he added.