New Delhi, Dec 29 (PTI) The Centre has told states to hire specialist doctors in various fields for rural areas with good pay packets, the salary bills for whom would be footed by it, the Lok Sabha was informed today. Also Read - Infrastructure Ready, Preparation in Final Stage For COVID Vaccination Dry Run, Says Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Responding to supplementaries, Health Minister J P Nadda said the states are free to hire experts such as gynaecologists for rural health facilities on a good salary and the Centre will pay it. Also Read - Coronavirus Strain: One More UK Returnee Tests Positive in Tamil Nadu, Govt Issues New Guidelines

Seeking to ensure larger intake of doctors, 5,000 seats have been added in medical colleges, he said. Also Read - Coronavirus: India Reports 19,556 New COVID-19 Cases, Lowest Daily Cases in Months

Reports have it that there was mere 19 per cent availability of specialist doctors in the community health centres (CHCs), especially those in the rural areas, across the country.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.