Sulagna Sengupta
[email protected]
Kolkata, 5 January
The state health department is faced with something of a problem of plenty this year, as it has received as many as 3,500 applications for the 285 posts of resident medical officers at state-run medical colleges.
By contrast, in 2012, only 200 applications were received for 300 posts of RMOs. The reason, apparently, is that government service now offers better pay and perks than working in the private sector.
Senior officials say that the salary of resident medical officers in government service has increased in the past one year from Rs 37,000 to Rs 43,000 with DA increased to 6 per cent and this has prompted most of the doctors to apply in the government service.
On 6 November 2013, the state health department had invited applications for posting of resident medical officer in various state-run medical colleges. The  last date for receiving applications is 6 January.
The unexpected flood of applications has now left  that the state health officials confused on whom to take and whom to reject.
A senior official of the health department added that this is the first time that they have received such a response. In 2012, only 200 applications for the post of 300 RMOs were received.
Resident Medical officers working in a private health care institute get consolidated salary of around Rs 30,000 without any DA and it is on a contract basis. Hence most  doctors are looking towards government service rather than joining private institutes.
Sources in the state health department added that in the past one year, around 150 RMOs have resigned from various private institutes or have been forced to resign by the individual authorities of private institutes on various grounds.
Two years ago, the state government failed to get doctors for posting at state-run medical colleges. The reason then was that working in private institutions fetched them a better package and they have a fixed night duty roster, but now the situation has changed.
A senior RMO said that in private institutions they get less salary compared to government hospitals and they also have to serve 24X7 whenever required. In fact, they hardly get scope to carry on with their medical education and also have little scope for practically examining a patient. At times it becomes very hectic and as such now they are trying to move to the government sector, he said.
Dr Susanta Banerjee, director of medical education, said they have received tremendous response for the post of RMO and that they will convene a meeting next week to discuss the issue.