24 November 2011
By Prasad Kulkarni
Less remuneration and terms of employment are the two prominent reasons why the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has found it difficult to get specialist doctors for its hospitals.
As a desperate measure, the PMC has decided to almost double the remuneration amount. "The health department has a proposal to increase salaries of doctors from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000. An advertisement highlighting the renewed remuneration will be floated once the municipal corporation approves our proposal," said S T Pardeshi, chief of PMC's health department.
The civic body operates 16 small hospitals and 28 dispensaries. The salaries paid to doctors range from Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000. A health official said that doctors get better salaries elsewhere. Besides, the contract needs to be reviewed every six months, which is a tiresome process.
"The health department has forwarded its demand to the state government for permanent recruitment of doctors. An approval from the government will come, after which the recruitment process for permanent posts will start. Till then, we are filling up the posts on a contractual basis," said Pardeshi.
Posts of physicians, radiologists, ophthalmologists and ENT surgeons are vacant though the PMC has thrice issued ads to fill them since August last year.
The PMC recently inaugurated an extended wing of the Kamala Nehru hospital, which is likely to be upgraded to a multispecialty hospital. Over Rs 65 crore were spent to give a facelift to this hospital, but the hospital too is short of doctors, said a health department official.
Ambrish Shahade, head of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Pune branch, said their organisation is creating awareness among doctors about this need for specialists.