Punjab launches Earn While You Learn program to address doctor shortages in hospitals

To address the shortage of doctors in Punjab’s government hospitals, the Bhagwant Mann-led government of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) would soon launch an ‘Earn While You Learn’ program, in which MBBS students who are passing out are transferred to the health facilities be offset with attractive salaries, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Balbir Singh on Saturday.

The Minister of Health of Punjab, Dr. Balbir Singh, addressed media at Circuit House in Ludhiana on Saturday. (Gurpreet Singh/HT photo) {{^userSubscribed}} {{/userSubscribed}} {{^userSubscribed}} {{/userSubscribed}}

Acknowledging the shortage of doctors in state hospitals, the health minister said under the MBBS program, unconscious students would receive a salary of ₹70,000, in addition to housing and other things to be provided by the government. He said this program is a revolutionary concept to increase secondary health care in Punjab and will be implemented soon.

He said that MBBS passout students would receive on-the-job practical and theoretical training from medical school teachers in online mode. He also said super-specialist pay would be revised to attract more doctors to government services.

He added that to deal with the shortage of gynecologists and other specialists, the government is considering introducing a policy of hiring local highly qualified private doctors for surgical procedures. He said that the Punjab government will also soon launch a district residency program to provide quality treatment with the support of doctors from medical colleges and doctors from private hospitals.

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Singh provided more details and said that 142 more Aam Aadmi clinics will open soon. A total of 504 clinics are currently operated in the country. He said that the wellness centers were already working and people had received quality healthcare services with the Aam Aadmi clinics, where 80 different medicines and 41 tests would be performed free of charge. 30 new Aam Aadmi clinics and 110 CM Ki Yogshals would be opened in Ludhiana in the coming days.

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Prominent attendees included MLAs Sarvjit Kaur Manuke, Madan Lal Bagga, Daljit Singh Bhola Grewal, Jiwan Singh Sangowal, Rajinderpal Kaur Chhina, Hardeep Singh Mundian, Ashok Prashar Pappi, Gurpreet Bassi Gogi, Markfed Chairman Amandeep Singh Mohi, Genco Chairman Navjot Singh Jarg, District President Harbhupinder Singh Dharaur, District Planning Committee Chairman Sharnpal Singh Makkar, Punjab State Cooperative Agricultural Development Bank Chairman Suresh Goyal, ADC (Development) Amit Kumar Panchal, Civil Surgeon Dr. Hitinder Kaur and others from the health department.

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Meanwhile, the minister also reviewed the various schemes and programs including Ayushman Bharat Mukh Mantri Sehat Bima Yojana, addiction control centers and the functioning of the Aam Aadmi clinics.