Facing a shortage of medical professionals as it fights against the coronavirus pandemic in the state, the Jharkhand government today approved one-time extension of services of retiring government doctors by up to 10 months, a government official said.
The nod was given to the proposal of the Department of Health, Medical Education and Family Welfare in the state Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Hemant Soren.
Jharkhand is facing a shortage of doctors and has only 1,597 doctors in the non-teaching cadre out of a sanctioned strength of 2,316.
Only 285 doctors are available in the teaching category against a sanctioned strength of 591, a spokesperson of the state government said.
As per the decision, the chief minister has approved the proposal to extend the services of the state cadre health services doctors retiring between May 2021 and September 2021 to March 2022, the official said.
Of the total strength of the state health services doctors, 44 under the non-teaching category and 15 under the teaching category are due to retire in the next year.
Services of those retiring between October 2021 and March 2022, have been extended by six months from the date of their retirement, the spokesperson added.
The state Cabinet in another decision gave its approval to a proposal to declare mucormycosis as an epidemic amid the rising number of cases.
"On the direction of Chief Minister Hemant Soren, Black Fungus has been declared as an epidemic," the Chief Minister's Office had tweeted earlier.
A total of 79 confirmed and 53 suspected cases had been reported from 18 of the 24 districts. Twenty-six people had also died due to the infection, the spokesperson said.
Mucormycosis is a fungal infection leading to prolonged morbidity and even mortality among Covid patients.