ISM doctors’ appointment put on hold after minister’s intervention


Srinagar, Nov 12: The State Health Department has put on hold the appointment of several candidates as ISM doctors and pharmacists in Kashmir after the Health Minister’s intervention.
 In September this year, the District Rural Health Society (DRHS) had notified selection of eight ISM doctors and equal number of pharmacists for four blocks of Budgam district—Chadoora, Nagam, Magam and Charar-i-Sharief. The District Development Commissioner acts as the Chairman of the DRHS in every district while the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) is vice-chairman of the body.
 Following the selection, a child specialist was allowed by the Health Department to join his duty. However, the department put on hold the appointment of other selected doctors and pharmacists.
 A letter written by the Deputy Director Health Services, Kashmir, to CMO Budgam, on September 17, reads that as per the directions from the Health Minister a team headed by Deputy Director (HQ) Directorate of Health Services was deputed for verifying the selection process.  “The team has seized the relevant records which are being examined. You are directed to put on hold the selection process till further orders,” the letter reads.  
 However, on the same day, the Chairman DRHS had made it clear to the Health Department that the selection was made in “transparent manner”.
 In a communication to Secretary, Health Department, the DDC has written that officials of Directorate of Health Services visited office of the CMO Budgam and took away records pertaining to the selection of the doctors and pharmacists.
 “This action seems prima facie unwarranted and without jurisdiction,” the letter reads. “You are as such requested to look into this personally.”     
 Following no relief from the authorities concerned, the selected candidates had approached the High Court.
 In its judgment, Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir had directed the state government to allow the aggrieved candidates to join their duties.
 “In the given circumstances, I deem it just and proper to dispose of this writ petition with a direction to the respondents to consider the case of the petitioners and allow them to join, provided they have been selected and are eligible in accordance with the rules governing the field,” the judgment said.
 Officials in the Health Department said an inquiry was ordered to look into the appointments.
 The inquiry revealed that the two members (experts) of the selection committee (DRHS) had not signed the final award list and the award sheets of the doctors were prepared in duplicate which are contradictory to each other to the extent that some candidates have been shown ineligible in first award list but eligible in the duplicate award sheet.
 However the chairman DRHS reiterated that the selection process was transparent.
 “The role of expert members ends once they award marks to the candidates. Then the award list is properly sealed after it is signed by the Chairman or Secretary. This practice is prevalent with every selection process and it was followed in this case too,” said Khursheed.
 Regarding Pharmacists, the inquiry report said out of 10 pharmacists selected eight had obtained their Ayurvedic Compounder certificates from Vinayaka Mission University Tamil Nadu through Madre-Meharban Health Sciences, Jammu, which is not recognized institute.
 However, last month a communication from office of the Director Health to Secretary Health Department mentioned that the University was recognized by UGC/IGNOU and as such does not fall on the test of law.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 13 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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