Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who also holds the portfolio of Health and Family Welfare, told the Gujarat Assembly on Wednesday that the government was promoting private hospitals in their implementation of two flagship health schemes – Mukhya Mantri Amrutam Yojana and Ma Vatsalya Yojana – due to multiple reasons, including the dearth of doctors in interior rural areas.
The DyCM said this while replying to a supplementary question raised during the Question Hour by Congress MLA Dr Anil Joshiyara of Bhiloda, concerning the reason behind the government promoting private hospitals in implementing the two schemes.
Patel said that there is a dearth of doctors in government hospitals across the country. “Doctors open their own clinics for a private practice, and people also have a tendency of going to a private doctor (rather than going to a government doctor). A new trend of 8-10 doctors starting their own co- rporate hospital has begun, where all (medical) services are available. Many doctors go abroad. The government does not have any control on these factors,” he added.
Patel also said that even a person from a tribal or rural area who becomes a doctor prefers to settle in urban areas, and while modern facilities and experts are available in government hospitals of urban areas, they are not in the interior, rural areas. As a remedy to this problem, private hospitals in those regions are being promoted under the two health schemes.
“If a person from Kutch gets a heart attack, he will not come to UN Mehta Hospital (in Ahmed-abad) for treatment. Therefore, we have recognised private hospitals at various places to impart services under the two schemes,” Patel said.
In another starred question, Congress MLA Lalit Kagathara of the Tankara constituency had asked the status about a proposal which assessed the legal possibilities of giving provisional degree certificates to MBBS doctors after their internships, and giving them the final certificates only after serving government hospitals for three years. He asked if a discussion was held on the proposal in the last six months, to which Patel replied that it had not.
Following the violation of a Rs 5-lakh bond between the state government and medical students from government colleges, who completed their degrees and internships, the government has recovered more than Rs 21.85 crore from doctors concerned in the past two years. The bond expects the doctors to serve in rural areas for three years.
Patel informed this to the Gujarat Assembly in a written reply to a starred question raised by Congress MLA Chandrika Bariya of the Garbada constituency.