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Health Department Wants Private Doctors’ Services in Rural Hospitals

The state health department has turned towards doctors from private sector to treat patients in rural health centers on call basis. The health department has okayed a proposal that will enable the district health machinery to constitute a panel of physicians, surgeons, pediatricians, gynecologists and other specialists, who will visit block hospitals and community hospitals and treat patients as and when required. “If successful, this model can be replicated across the state to mitigate crisis of doctors in rural healthcare centers,” health secretary Nitin Madan Kulkarni told TOI. The project proposes that community and block hospitals across Ranchi be identified to form five clusters. Each cluster will have one designated facility to hold periodic health camps. “Medical cases such as typhoid, jaundice among others, surgeries such as that of hydrocele, gall bladder and others will be performed in such camps. Empaneled doctors and paramedics will be sent at these camps to attend the patients and operate upon them,” civil surgeon (Ranchi) Dr VB Prasad said, adding that the scheme will be rolled out by February once a few provisions of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana are ratified by the health department.

Explaining the mode of remunerating the empaneled doctors, Prasad said treatments under Ayushman Bharat has provisions for 25 percent of the claim amount for hospitals, paramedics and doctors. “A cap will be fixed for doctors and paramedics for one (medical) case. The camps will be organized in a way that one doctor can attend to or operate many patients during their single visit so that they can earn handsomely,” Prasad added. More than 22,000 beneficiaries have availed facilities under Ayushman Bharat, which provisions up to Rs 5 lakh cover for 1350 medical procedures in Jharkhand since it was launched in September 23 last year. Eighteen blocks of Ranchi districts are home to 30 lakh people but has one orthopedic, three physicians, four surgeons and a few gynecologists in district health machinery. The state of other district health machineries is not better either. The department’s estimates say nearly 5000 posts of doctors are lying vacant statewide against a sanctioned strength of 9000. Many specialist doctors appointed since 2015 have not joined at their respective places of postings, mostly in rural areas of Jharkhand. “We will begin recruitment processes afresh soon,” Kulkarni said. – TOI