VIJAYAWADA: How can you get medical specialists to render service at government hospitals free of cost?

The Chandrababu Naidu government in Andhra Pradesh has hit upon the idea of encouraging god-fearing doctors to treat the poor for free in government hospitals by offering them privileges like VIP darshans and all-inclusive accommodation at temples like Tirumala.

The state Cabinet, which met here on Tuesday, discussed ways to improve the quality of healthcare in government hospitals, came up with the idea of requisitioning the services of specialists who volunteer to do service free of cost and those for a decent remuneration. As add-ons, they stand to get accommodation and VIP darshans at temples including Tirumala, Srisailam, Kanakadurga, Annavaram and Simhachalam.

“We want to reach out to NRI and non-Indian specialists and even those from the UN. We will have a portal where doctors interested in serving the poor at government hospitals can register themselves. The entire process would be done in accordance with the rules of the Medical Council of India,” Chandrababu Naidu said to reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

The chief minister said the government would provide facility for patients to have their doctor of choice from outside to treat them. “We are looking at several possibilities,” Naidu said. The cabinet discussed the approval by the Centre for the establishment of the Indian Institute of Plantation Management (IIPM) in Krishna district. Describing the approval as a welcome development, Naidu said it would go a long way in training farmers engaged in horticulture.

The state government would provide land for the institute while the Centre would chip in with Rs. 11 crore of the Rs 23 crore funding required. The IIPM, which operates under the Union Ministry of Commerce, would help farmers who take up coconut, oil palm, cocoa, pepper, coffee, cashew and so on. The gross value added (GVA) of horticulture was Rs. 41,500 crore last year which was an increase of 99.6 per cent over the previous year.

The cabinet, by another decision, approved a proposal to increase the commission payable to fair price shop dealers from Rs.20 to Rs.70 per quintal of rice sold by them. The hike would impose a burden of Rs.77 crore on the state exchequer.

The Centre would chip in with an equal amount with which the commission would be paid to the fair price shop dealers. Their average monthly income would go up to Rs. 8,000 from the present Rs.5,000 per month.

The Cabinet cleared reforms in the Public Distribution System like supplying essential commodities to the physically challenged at their home, ensuring inter-operabiltiy by means of which a card holder could draw his rations from any fair price shop in the state, making available rations for 20 days at the fair price shops from the first of every month till the 20th, allowing drawing of two months’ rations at a time in a three-month period and so on.

LEAVE A REPLY