FACING a shortage of quality healthcare in one of Chhattisgarh’s worst Naxal-hit districts, a doctor in Bijapur has sent out an appeal to the private medical community through social media and advertisements, asking doctors to apply for highly incentivised openings in the district.
But what makes this appeal different is that this doctor is also an IAS officer — and the District Collector.
In his appeal, which was circulated on social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook on Tuesday, Ayyaj Tamboli, a 2009-batch officer, said, “I am Dr Ayyaj, a medical graduate who joined an Indian Administrative Service. Currently working as District Collector, Bijapur (Chhattisgarh). My district is predominantly tribal, densely forested and Naxal affected…We are developing (the) district hospital as a state of art facility. Need post-graduate doctors and general duty doctors. Specially looking for Radio (radiologists), Anasthaesia and Paeds (paediatricians). Other disciplines are also welcomed.”
Elaborating on the offer, Tamboli’s message said: “Negotiable salary ranging from 1.20 to 3 lakh for specialists, 80-90K for MBBS. Fully furnished rent free accommodation for family and bachelors. Contractual job with fixed tenure. So no transfers. If required facilitates employment of spouse in available institutions in district. Helps in school admission for kids. Very good road connectivity with Raipur and Visakhapatnam.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Tamboli said that the district hospital was currently looking at a shortfall of at least 10 doctors, with 12 on the job currently.
Tamboli said that his appeal has drawn a “heartening response” and that salary negotiations would take place through a three-member committee, including the Collector and the Chief District Medical Officer.
“Norms have been set up on the salaries that can be offered, based on considerations such as the terrain and inaccessibility of the area, as well as if it is Naxal-affected or not, with experience being a factor. The funds for this will come through the National Rural Health Mission, with whatever additional needed coming through funds from the District Mineral Foundation (DMF),” said Tamboli.
The DMF, mandated under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation Act), requires mining industries to pay a part of their royalty to the district for the development of areas and people affected by mining.
“The district hospital is also making advances like the creation of a transit hostel with 14 rooms, a licence for a blood bank is in the works and the nurses-patients ratio has been brought down. However, there has always been the difficulty that in areas like these, very few doctors choose to come. So, I thought I would reach out to the medical community by sending messages to them directly,” he said.