The appointment of 1,000 medical officers for hospitals in rural and far-flung areas in Health and Medical Education Department has remained an unfulfilled dream for most of the aspirants, as only 462 posts have been filled so far.
The candidates who qualified the written test conducted by Public Service Commission (PSC) for the appointment of medical officers attributed the delay in filling up of vacancies to the violation of rules by PSC at the time of holding written exams.
“The government had made it clear that the candidates who are already pursuing their PG courses/ Registrarship/ Demonsatratorship/ Senior Resident will not be allowed to apply for the posts but PSC accepted their candidature at the time of exams,” the aspirants said.
However, the sources at the PSC said there was no government order barring any body, who met the qualification, from applying for the posts.
But the aspirants say that the candidates, who were already pursuing PG course or registrarship, were selected but didn’t join their duties which left the posts unfilled.
“These candidates didn’t join the duties after they observed that the salary and other benefits of the posts were less than what they were earning while doing registrarship and fellowship in hospitals,” the aggrieved aspirants said, adding that around 700 selected candidates didn’t join the duties.
In wake of this the department decided to make waiting list operative and asked the candidates to join their duties.
“But mere hundred candidates joined their duties and only 300 to 400 posts were filled while as rest of the posts remained unfilled,” the candidates said.
The candidates said they were declared as qualified after obtaining above 55 points in the test in which the cut off merit was fixed as 55 points for open merit candidates and 50 points for candidates of reserved category.
“It was a special recruitment drive for hospitals and the selection was to be done on basis of written exams only,” the candidates claimed.
The decision to recruit 1000 medical officers for hospitals in rural and far-flung areas was taken in 2018 and the process was to be completed on fast track basis
“But ironically, the pace of recruitment died down for unknown reasons. The entire process was supposed to be completed within two months but even after passage of nine months, the vacancies are unfilled,” the aspirants said.
While more than 500 posts of medical officers are still unfilled, the candidates urged the department to make second waiting list operative as most of the candidates are at the verge of crossing the age bar.
“Most of the candidates in waiting list are at the verge of crossing the age bar. They should be given preferential consideration for appointment as medical officers,” the candidates said.
They said the administration should order for holding a joint meeting of PSC and H&ME Department and work out the pending waiting list of the qualified and eligible candidates to the extent of vacancies available in the department.
“The qualified candidates as per the benchmark fixed by PSC have a legitimate right to be considered for the appointment against the available vacancies within the quota of 1000 medical officers,” they said.
Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department, Attul Daloo however said they will re-advertise the remaining posts without making second waiting list operative. “Rules allow us to operate only one waiting list,” he said.
Chairman PSC Lateef Zaman Deva denied to comment on the issue saying he was not authorised to talk as the PSC had been put under suspension due to the reconstitution issue.