If one is a doctor aged below 65 years, a government job in Assam is assured - just walk in to an interview next week and get the appointment letter on the spot.
But there is a catch. The new recruits must serve in Assam's rural areas.
'Anybody with a medical degree can just walk in for an interview on Wednesday and Thursday and get a job. We have about 234 vacancies across the state and all these recruits will be posted in rural health centres,' Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters here.
Due to the lukewarm response from doctors for government jobs, health authorities will welcome retired medical practitioners for the interview.
'A retired doctor, if willing to serve in a rural area, will be paid a consolidated salary of Rs.15,000 a month, besides their pension benefits,' the minister said.
'We hope to get at least 100 young doctors for the interview and the remaining vacancies can well be filled up with retired medical practitioners.'
The new recruitment drive has been necessitated with the rural healthcare sector in Assam in the doldrums with doctors not willing to serve in the interiors.
'We have to do something drastic to improve the healthcare system, especially in rural areas,' Sarma said.
Doctors apart, there is a severe shortage of nurses and paramedics.
'We require about 1,200 nurses and in the next two months we are going to fill these vacancies,' he said.
'Shortage of nurses in Assam has severely impeded immunisation programmes in the past few years.'
Coming down heavily on specialist government doctors ignoring their normal duties and devoting more time in private nursing homes, the minister said such acts would not be tolerated.
'I visited the Guwahati Medical College (GMC) today and was really disappointed to find a majority of the doctors absent,' Sarma said.
He has initiated action against at least a dozen senior doctors at the GMC for neglecting duty.
(Source: IANS News)