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Jharkhand fails to attract competent doctors


Ranchi : Jharkhand is finding it tough to attract competent doctors to work on a contract basis with the state government. While it needs as many as 3,000 doctors, only 375 candidates turned up for an exam conducted to fill 800 posts and many of them secured less than 20 percent marks, officials said Tuesday.

The state government came out with an advertisement to appoint 800 doctors on contract basis but only 439 candidates applied. The written examination took place Sep 12 and only 375 doctors appeared for the test.

The results were out Tuesday and took the authorities by surprise. While the average marks are between 40 and 50 percent, over 20 percent of the 375 candidates got less than 20 percent.

One doctor managed to get only 11 marks out of 250. And seven doctors scored less than 10 percent. This has landed the health department officials in a fix.

“We have not finalised the list of the doctors. We will decide the cut-off marks and only then will the doctors be appointed on contract,” a health department official told IANS.

Health department officials say the terms could relaxed to appoint doctors on contract as the state needs more than 3,000 doctors.

In 2003, Jharkhand appointed 2,400 doctors on contract but by 2009 only 524 were left. Most of the doctors had quit the government jobs and joined private nursing homes or started private practice.

Doctors say the salaries and facilities provided by the state are poor, leading many to quit if they get better opportunities.

“The service condition of contract doctors are very poor. The payment is low and no facilities are extended to doctors appointed on contract,” Vimlesh Kumar Singh, president of the Jharkhand Contract Doctors Association (JCDA), told IANS.

In Jharkhand, doctors appointed on contract get Rs.20,000 per month.