Bengaluru: The Health Department has decided to crack the whip on specifically on government quota students for mandatory service in rural areas after having been unable to push medical students at large to work in the less developed regions of the country. This decision comes in the face of the department struggling to fill 1400 posts in the village health centres.
Soon, the mandatory rural service rule will be only for those who have secured seats under the government quota. The state cabinet has approved the proposal to amend the Karnataka Compulsory Service Training by Candidates Completed Medical Courses Act, 2012, during the ongoing legislature session. Earlier, this service rule was applicable for all medical graduates including the management and NRI quota candidates. Later students obtained a court stay on it.
Shalini Rajneesh, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare said the amended rule would not act as a hindrance in doctor recruitments in rural areas.
“The vacancies are high in the specialists category. It will be a problem of plenty if all MBBS graduates are made to take up rural service. That is why we are amending the rule so that there will be a regular flow of doctors as government-quota students cannot forgo rural service,” she said.
1,430 doctors will be recruited by the health department through the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC). A gazette nitification releasedon May 24 announces that applications would be called for 365 general duty medical officers (GDMOs) and 1,065 specialist doctors.
Incentive enhancement and salary hikes have also not been able to attract doctors for these departmental medical posts. This was proven by an earlier recruitment drive conducted through the KPSC in 2015, when only 597 of the 1122 applicants joined work.In 2012 the recruitment figure reflected a mere 75 as against 600 specialist posts advertised.
There has been a consistently poor response to jobs advertised since 2005 and recruitments done through the KPSC. State run hospitals have been kept away from by doctors due to low salaries, which have been given a hike in 2015.
“Salary is not an issue now. An honorarium of Rs1.2 lakh has been fixed even for specialists on contract. Absence of a conducive atmosphere that includes assault by patients’ relatives and harassment by followers of local politicians has created a sense of fear among doctors,” said a senior official of the Karnataka Government Medical Officers’ Association.
It is reported that doctors are willing to work on lower pay scales in smaller urban hospitals rather than taluk hospitals or primary health centres.Poor infrastructural facilities in rural areas and specialists having to function as medical officers are primary reasons that keep doctors away, said the official.
The Health Department in a special employment drive will recruit 3,274 paramedics, 736 nurses with Diplomas, 245 nurses with B.Sc. Nursing qualification and 1,659 junior health assistants reports Hiundu.
Interested candidates may apply online before June 30. More details are available on www.karhfw.gov.in