GUWAHATI, March 13 - Admitting the shortage of health practitioners in the State, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today informed the Assembly that a separate Assam Medical Service Recruitment Board has been created for recruiting doctors, through which the government hopes to recruit around 500 doctors by next month.
Stating that recruitment through APSC takes nearly a year�s time and, in the mean time, candidates tend to accept offers from private hospitals, the Health Minister said the State gets only 50 per cent of the doctors who pass out of the medical colleges in the State.
�The rest opt for private institutions or go for higher studies. But, with the coming up of the medical colleges in Jorhat and Barpeta, we hope to retain around 250 doctors every year from the five colleges,� he said, while conceding that the shortage of specialist doctors will remain for some time.
Under the Director of Health Services, there are 1,223 vacancies of doctors, while under Director of Health Services (FW), there is a shortage of 102 doctors against the sanctioned posts. Under DME, 558 posts of doctors are vacant while under the Director of Ayush, 13 such posts are lying vacant.
Registration fee: The State government is considering abolishing the registration fee of Rs 5 charged from OPD patients at government hospitals.
�We have been trying to abolish this. We hope it will be done soon,� he said.
�Moreover, the government is also considering providing a untied fund to the government hospitals for miscellaneous use. We should be able to finalise it within three to four months� time,� Sarma said in response to a question by Mariani MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi.