Wednesday, July 12, 2017

‘Meagre’ salary forced 84 docs to resign: RTI reply

The Tribune: Faridkot: Wednesday, July 12, 2017.
An RTI query has brought out that of the 598 Medical Officers (MO) recruited by the Health Department in the past two years, 84 resigned because of “meagre” salary.
The department pays a monthly salary of Rs 18,307 to MBBS doctors during three years of their probation period. Compare this with the annual tuition fee for the MBBS course: more than Rs12 lakh charged by some private medical colleges this time.
In 2015, 404 posts of MO were advertised and 290 doctors joined, but 32 resigned days after their joining the duty, the RTI reply said. The next year, 686 posts of MO were advertised and 308 doctors joined. Within a few days of their joining, 52 resigned.
“After paying more than Rs 60 lakh as tuition fee in private medical colleges, how can one expect MBBS passouts to survive on a paltry sum of Rs18,000 per month?” said a member of the PCMS Association.
“Himachal Pradesh and Haryana are paying a monthly salary of more than Rs 70,000 to MBBS doctors. Punjab is a unique case. Here, the tuition fee for the MBBS course is the highest in the country, but the salary is the lowest,” said Manoj Kumar, a newly recruited MO.
The department is also facing a tough time in filling posts of medical specialist. A few days ago, only 20 Medical Officers (Specialist) joined the department against 357 vacant posts.
Last year, only 36 medical specialists had joined the department.
The Community Health Centres across the state are facing shortage of specialists in medicine, surgery, paediatrics, psychiatry and radiology.
Against the demand for 45 medicine specialists, the department got only one a few days ago. There were only four candidates for 46 posts of gynecologist. And only one candidate each applied for 41 posts of radiologist and 45 of general surgery.
In Faridkot, the situation is no better. In the past one year, 1,618 children have been born in the Primary Health Centre and Community Health Centres in the district. And there is only one pediatric to take care of newborns in government hospitals.