Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 20:
The Odisha Assembly on Friday witnessed a heated debate over the fate of doctors in the state. Members expressed concern over the frequent transfer of doctors’ in government-run-hospitals, large number of specialist posts lying vacant in them, demand for regularizing the jobs of Ayush doctors and covering them under Employees Provident Fund (EPF).
Raising the issue during Question Hour, Padampur MLA Pradip Purohit said; “I had once met the honourable minister with regard to the appointment of doctors. The minister told me you can ask for construction of any building or anything else. We can arrange funds for that, but don’t ask for doctors and raised his hands in despair in the matter of appointing doctors.”
Purohit said it is Ayush doctors who are delivering healthcare services in villages in the absence of allopathy doctors. Their jobs need to be regularized and they should be covered under EPF scheme since they have been serving in our villages for seven years,” he said.
In his reply, the minister said; “We have not raised our hands in despair, there is shortage of doctors in the state and several steps are being taken to overcome the shortage of doctors. We are giving utmost importance to Ayush doctors in the state, we have raised their monthly remuneration from Rs12, 000 to Rs 17,000 and we are also providing a performance incentive of Rs 3,000. With regard to covering them under EPF since Central government has already taken a decision in this regard’ we cannot cover them under EPF”.
Purohit said since the minister siad the guidelines of the centrally sponsored NHRM scheme do not provide for covering them under EPF, the state government should enact its own law to cover them under EPF,
Clarifying on the transfer policy of doctors Nayak said for doctors serving in vulnerable pockets we have introduced place based incentive. he said that transfer of doctors was being done as per rules adding that action has been taken against 52 doctors who didn’t join their services.