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There is a shortage of over 7,000 doctors in Uttar Pradesh government hospitals and steps are being taken to fill up the vacancies, state Health minister Sidhartha Nath Singh told the Legislative Council on Thursday. "In the state, 18,382 posts have been created of which 11,034 have been filled. This way, there is a shortage of 7,348 doctors," he said while replying to a question raised by SP MLA Shashank Yadav. Singh said doctors for government hospitals are recruited through the state Public Service Commission. "If the Public Service Commission was not able to recruit doctors in such a large number, then why were there no change in the policy," the minister asked. On this, Leader of Opposition Ahmed Hasan intervened saying that the minister is giving the right information, but he is also hiding something. "During Akhilesh Yadav's rule, to tackle the shortage, the retirement age of the doctors was raised from 60 to 65. But, the problem persists and more needs to be done in this regard," Hasan said. Replying to Hasan's arguments, Singh said, "My intention was never to level allegations against anyone." "In 2011, recruitment process was initiated on 2,090 posts of medical officers, of which 1,784 candidates were selected.
Of these, only 608 took postings. When this process was finalised, Akhilesh government had come to power," the minister said.He said, "This should have rung alarm bells. My alarm bells have already rung, and hence I have started my work."