PALAMPUR: Even after spending over rupees 300 crore annually, health services in the state are far from satisfactory, all serious patients had to go to adjoining states in Jalandha, Ludhiana and Chandigarh for medical treatment. Even in most of the zonal hospital emergencies are not attended. Two Medical colleges TMC Tanda and IGMC Shimla are ill equipped, it had no facility for petty medical test like T3, T4, Tsh and B12 deficiency test.
All such tests are conducted outside the state. Labs functioning in the adjoining states have deployed their agents in the state, who collect the hundreds of samples daily and get it tested at Chandigarh and Ludhiana. Sometimes doctors have to wait for week for the reports of such tests.
According information gathered from state health department revealed that in the absence of separate cadre for the specialists doctors in Himachal Pradesh, no PG doctor was willing to serve in the state. In Himachal Pradesh Post Graduate doctors and MBBS doctors have the same pay scale , therefore, most of the PG doctors from the state were moving out either to corporate hospitals or private nursing homes where they get higher pay and perks, resulting in acute shortage of specialists in the state. .
In past one year one hundred specialists applied for job in the state, they were also selected but hardly twenty six of them reported for duty, rest opted for private nursing homes and corporate hospitals. Another factor responsible for the shortage of doctors in the state, BJP government had stopped the recruitment of doctors through HP State Public Service Commission and offered appointments through Rogi Kalyan Samiti, that to on contract basis. This decision of the government had discouraged the doctor to join in the state. Even MBBS doctors feel insult to serve though RKS in Himachal Pradesh that too on contract basis.
400 doctors working on contract in the state had already launched agitation and on war path for the regularization of their services and demanded appoints through public service commission but the secretary health had adopted ridged approach, confrontation was still going on between doctors and state government causing hardship to common man.
Even in urban areas the situation is no better, 100 posts of specialists in Medical Colleges, zonal, district and sub-divisional hospitals have been lying vacant for the past three years. During assembly session at Dharmshala government had admitted that over three hundred health institutions including rural dispensaries and primary health centers in the state are without doctors and other Para medical staff .
Chief Minister and Health Minister were well conversant with the situation but nothing has been done to create a separate cadre for the PG doctors in the state. A senior professor in TMC Tanda told this correspondent that unless or until separate cadre was created for specialist doctors and special incentives was given no Post Graduate doctor would come to serve in the HP state health services. He said out ten only three doctors complete the PG in stipulated period of three years. Another medical specialists told this correspondent that difference between the salary of MBBS and specialist doctor was just rupees 650/- why should specialists come to state. He remarked that son of the health minister was also specialist doctor, he should understand how hard it was to complete PG for a doctor, contract salary of rupees 20,000/- for MBBS or PG doctor per month was cruel joke with them. Even during residency doctor draw much more, over rupees 30,000/- PM and in medical colleges of Delhi this allowance is rupees 45,000/- PM. A bureaucrat with medical back ground should be secretary health. Gujrat has followed this concept and they have the best health services in the country, he added.