August 07, 2010

Unable to bear expenses, doctors quit Chiranjeevi Scheme

The number of doctors in the Chiranjeevi Scheme has drastically gone down in last one year, bringing about a major setback to the much-hyped government scheme.
Last year, over 52 private gynaecologists in Vadodara district were registered under the scheme. The number has come down to 36 this year.

Over the past few years, the Health Department has been trying to convince private gynaecologists to be a part of the scheme to check the shortfall of doctors in the rural areas.

But now, the department is busy recovering the Rs 15,000 spent on the doctors at the time of signing Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), as many of them have pulled out.

Source said the doctors are dissatisfied about the payment scheme and are unable to bear the high expenses. In many places, they could not meet the required number of deliveries in the given timeframe due to lack of infrastructure.

“The doctors are not very keen for the scheme, while in the urban areas, they don't get much patients. Many doctors who have conducted very few deliveries have opted out,” said R V Patel, Reproductive Child Health (RCH) Officer, Vadodara District Health Office.

The state government had declared to pay Rs 1,545 per delivery, but the doctors complain that they have to bear the cost themselves.

“Over the past six years, the amount paid to us has remained the same while the cost of medical services have increased. We find it difficult to cope up with the expenses. Besides, many of us have not received the payment for the past four months. We had joined the scheme as part of our social responsibility but it has turned out to be a nuisance. Most of us are now planning to quit the scheme,” said B Patel, a member of the Obstetrics and Gynaecological Society (GOGS).

Bharuch Chief District Health Officer (CDHO) V S Tripathi said, “There is a lack of interest because of the pay structure in the scheme.”

Panchmahals CDHO Dr R N Joshi said: “We have forwarded the doctors’ complaints of insufficient pay to the Health Department. But the department wants the private doctors to continue with the scheme on social grounds.”

Link: Original Article

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