Punjab’s government hospitals facing shortage of qualified doctors – Change in policy could improve health services

Every year, thousands of doctors pass out from various medical colleges. Instead of joining the government service, they prefer to go to the private sector whereas lakhs a rupees are spent on his study by the government. In return, the government hardly gets any services. This the reason that shortage of doctors in government hospitals continued to be a cause of concern and health department in almost all the states is failing to provide the cheaper health services to the people. Punjab is not the distinction in this regard.
Health Department in Punjab has tried to recruit the doctors during its four attempts. But while there are thousands of letters for other categories of posts, there is hardly any application against the vacant 250 posts.
According to Dr.P.L.Garg, former Registrar, Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences, the policies of the government are not conducive for the doctors and this is the reason, they are not coming forward to join the government services.
Even Health Minister, Jyani during his address at one of the inauguration of Eye Block said to the media persons to bring any doctor to have appointment instantly.
Even after getting the appointment, the doctors don’t join the government service e. He made it clear that there is a need to bring drastic changes in our policies. He even said that the government is in need of advisors who have the root-level experience and prepare a plan in view of the requirement of such staff in villages and cities. Presently, there is no such policy of recruitment and promotion with the health department. Even after doing PG, the doctor continues to get wages of PCMS. In the existing circumstances and policy of the government, it is difficult for any doctor to join in the Punjab.
The recommendations of Sanghwalia Commission were not even implemented and private sector is being influenced to the patients to get better health services. In the metro cities, the specialist doctors are being paid heavy pay packages as compared to the government.
On the other hand, the doctors on joining the government is posted in village or small cities where hardly any educational facilities are available for their wards and they have no alternative except to send them to other states. The doctors in the absence of modern infrastructure fail to get an opportunity to show their skill.
In case, the Punjab Government wants to provide the best health services to its citizens, it should be serious about the recruitment of doctors and first improve the basic infra-structure in the government hospitals by establishing the modern technology equipments. The glaring example of the poor condition of the hospital is that one pregnant lady has to be referred from Ferozepur to a far off medical college because of non functioning of ultra sound machine.
Frankly speaking, in case the government is really serious about providing the better health services, it has to change its policy of recruitment and promotion bringing it at par with the private hospitals or by making it compulsory to serve the government hospital at least for first ten years. The other alternative is borrowing the services of doctors from the private hospitals at least for two hours on daily basis. I think the first option is better to retain the doctors for the first ten years in government hospitals.
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