The Health department has proposed a bill to prevent the brain drain of doctors who are leaving for the Middle East and West after completing their studies at the government expense in the State, officials said Sunday.
The rampant practice by the government doctors is a major issue that the health authorities were facing in Jammu Kashmir which has severely affected the healthcare delivery.
“A bill will be passed in the J&K assembly to prevent brain drain and loss of precious human resource which is a huge problem we are facing,” reads the health policy draft prepared by Directorate of Health Service Kashmir (DHSK).
It states that the doctors who had qualified entrance examinations in different categories need to work for seven years in a rural area from where they have been selected.
“The distribution of doctors, especially the female doctors remains highly skewed toward urban areas of Srinagar and Budgam. The retention of doctors can be improved by better management, well-defined and transparent transfer policy,” the policy has envisaged.
The policy outline notes that education, exposure to new methods and treatment are important incentives to improve skills of doctors working in rural areas.
“It is also important to have a transparent promotion policy for doctors based on seniority, higher education and uniformity of procedure,” the policy states.
It proposes that regular DPC and confirmation of service at all levels would be conducted.
“This will improve workforce motivation, improve healthcare and reduce wastage of resources. Incentives can be provided to doctors who work in far-flung and difficult areas,” it said.
An official at DHSK said they have recommended a separate cadre of Public Health that would be created with the separate director in addition to more posts of the level of Assistant Directors, Joint Directors, Deputy Directors and Directors.
“A regional cadre of Directors for North, South and Central Kashmir for Kashmir division and Chenab Valley, Pir Panjal and Central Jammu for Jammu division is on cards,” he said.
That department has also suggested that all doctors would be deputed to serve in difficult areas for 18 months adding that the doctors who fail to do so would not be promoted.
“The post of Chief Medical Officer and third time-bound promotion cannot be given unless a doctor has served for a minimum of five years in a rural area,” he said.
Health officials said the government should not be happy for terminating services of doctors but worry and wake up to curb the menace as the patient flow was increasing in hospitals.
“The government should ponder why it is happening. The creation is of 1990s. There are many reasons including violence against doctors for this mess,” they said.
Official sources said they had also envisaged a welfare fund for doctors at par with the Police Welfare Fund.
They said in the past five years, services of nearly 300 doctors had been terminated after being found absent from duties while the vacancies have not been filled over the years.