In the wake of a number of vacancies being unfilled in government hospitals, Maharashtra government has now decided to woo private doctors with huge packages.
According to The Indian Express, the Devendra Fadnavis government is first allowing them to negotiate salaries and later providing additional incentives, and this has yielded results.
The report says that at least 12 gynaecologists and anaesthetists have bargained for a pay package of over Rs 3 lakh per month to serve in rural districts of Beed, Raigad, Yawatmal and Chandrapur.
This move was started after the government noticed that there was 64 per cent vacancy in 648 posts for anaesthetists, 35 per cent vacancy in 561 paediatrician posts, and 26 per cent vacancy in 612 posts for gynaecologists until October last year. The state government decided to allow private doctors to negotiate their salary in tribal and Maoist-affected regions. In many areas, salaries have also been fixed for a particular treatment or surgery. For example, Rs 4,000 for each Caesarean surgery, Rs 40 for each ante-natal check-up, Rs 1,500 per assisted delivery and Rs 1,200 per pediatric case treated.
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And the initiative has been accepted among doctors all over the state. Since December 2017, 142 gynaecologists, 143 anaesthetists and 71 paediatricians were appointed under the new scheme with incentives. Pune got 70 specialists followed by Satara, Chandrapur and Yawatmal. The Maharashtra state health ministry now plans to expand the scope of salary negotiation to all other 12 specialities including ENT, dermatology, and general surgery.
Before the decision to incentivise salaries to serve in government hospitals in December 2017, specialists received a salary of Rs 50,000 to Rs 90,000 per month, depending on their work experience. Following the appointments, in June alone, the state recorded 4,437 Caesarean deliveries conducted by the newly appointed gynaecologists, 1,021 major surgeries by anaesthetists and 2,606 emergency pediatric cases in rural and tribal regions.