By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Sept 11: Assam is facing a serious shortage of health professiols and despite creation of as many six medical colleges, the government has failed to meet the shortfall.
The total number of sanctioned posts of doctors in the State is 4,059, but only 3,250 posts are manned presently, the Health department stated in response to an RTI query.
The State government has even failed to put in place adequate number of paramedical staff.
There are 1,540 General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) and 5,962 Auxiliary Nurse Midwife sanctioned posts, but 217 and 1,028 posts remain vacant in the two categories respectively.
There is also a shortage of 70 pharmacists, 131 laboratory technicians and as many Multipurpose Health Workers (MHW).
In the last five years, 1,455 MBBS graduates passed out from the State's three medical colleges.
Sources said the shortage of doctors stems from the fact that medical graduates and post-graduates are reluctant to serve in rural areas. The government has also introduced a bond system wherein a student taking a medical seat in post-graduate courses is made to give an undertaking, saying that she/he will serve in rural area for ten years or pay a pelty of Rs 20 lakh.
The Health department is now planning to introduce the bond system for the MBBS courses as well. A medical graduate will have to serve in rural areas for ten years or pay up Rs 10 lakh pelty to the government.
The government spends Rs 40 lakh on each medical graduate and Rs 1 crore on each post-graduate student.
Category Sanctioned posts Man in position
Doctor 4,059 3,250
Nurses 7,502 6,943
Pharmacist 1,383 1,313
Lab technician 1,014 933