Rural stint to fetch doctors double pay

In order to encourage medical personnel to serve the poorer rural areas, the health and family welfare ministry has come out with a plan to offer doctors, specialists and para-medical staff contractual appointments at almost double the salary compared to their counterparts in other areas.

The plan was announced at the ministry's 100-day agenda by the union health and family welfare minister Ghulam Nabi Azad who said these incentives would encourage the medical staff to serve the poor and needy.

The fund will be made available through the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) based on the location of the postings.

The ministry will identify various regions on the basis of difficulty of access, particularly in the hilly states and tribal regions where primary health care units will be set up.

NRHMs' progress will be reported on a district wise basis on a web-based Health Management Information System to be operational by July 31, 2009.

The ministry will also revive three public sector vaccine manufacturing units at Kasauli, Guindy and Coonoor which had failed to comply with the good manufacturing practices of the World Health Organisation.