Government is working to find solution, says Minister

Health Minister U.T. Khader has said that owing to the acute shortage of doctors and other staff in government hospitals, a decision has been taken not to upgrade any government hospitals in the State till an effective solution for increasing the number of doctors is found.

Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, he said that though there had been a constant demand from many government hospitals for upgradation, none of them would be upgraded till the number of staff is increased.

“What is the point in merely adding more beds or infrastructure when the hospitals do not have adequate doctors. Therefore, the government is seriously working to find a solution to increase staff strength,” Mr. Khader said.

Informing that the posts of over 350 MBBS and 1,000 post-graduate doctors were vacant in government hospitals, he said that to fill this gap, the government has cleared legislation to mandate one-year rural service for medical students who get government seat.

“We are waiting for approval from the Union government and we are hopeful that it will be cleared soon. If that happens, then we can have more doctors in government hospitals,” Mr. Khader said.

He said that though the government spends Rs. 35 lakh on each MBBS student, the students were reluctant to work for rural people.

“The government is ready to offer Rs. 1.25 lakh salary to post-graduate doctors, but they do not show any interest in joining government service,” he said.

The Minister, however, admitted that it was not merely salary but the unprofessional atmosphere in government hospitals that was preventing some of the doctors from joining government hospitals.

On the demand of AYUSH doctors to allow them to prescribe allopathic drugs during emergencies, Mr. Khader said that AYUSH doctors should first prescribe and practice Indian medicine. He, however, admitted that during some situations, allopathic drugs were needed to save lives.

“To meet the demand of AYUSH doctors, the government had written to the Medical Council of India and the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences to allow it to introduce a short-term course for AYUSH doctors to prescribe allopathic medicines. But, these institutions have not given a positive response yet,” he said.

Bijapur City MLA Makbul Bagwan and officials of the Health Department were present.