Faced with acute scarcity of doctors in rural areas, the Orissa government on Saturday decided to appoint 408 doctors and increased the remuneration of those appointed on contractual basis, official sources said.

While 972 posts of doctors were laying vacant in different districts, mostly in backward KBK (Kalahandi — Balaongir—Koraput) region, 408 new doctors would be posted in a week’s time, they said.

“Orissa Public Service Commission (OPSC) has completed formalities for the appointment of doctors. They will be appointed soon”, Health and Family Welfare minister Prasanna Acharya told reporters.

This apart, to attract fresh MBBS graduates towards government service, he said remmuneration of contractual doctors, nurses and pharmacists would also be raised.

There are 379 doctors appointed on contractual basis, he said adding that the MBBS doctors working in KBK region would henceforth get Rs 24,000 per month from their earlier Rs 18,000.

Similarly, doctors in non-KBK region would get Rs 20,000 instead of Rs 12,000 per month, the minister said.