Jr docs demand cancellation of JS’ appointment, health secy says shortage filled

ITANAGAR, Jul 2: The Junior Doctors Association (JDA) has demanded immediate cancellation of the appointment order issued to seven contractual doctors serving under the National Health Mission (NHM) to the posts of regular junior specialists (JS) in the health department.
The order was issued on 29 May. The JDA says that the department ignored deserving candidates.
In a press conference held here on Thursday, Dr Paya Liyak said that the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) had on 19 June advertised in the local newspapers for recruitment to 137 posts of JS doctors.
“Through the APPSC notice, it is learnt that previously the health & family welfare department, vide an order dated 29 May, 2020, has appointed seven contractual doctors who were serving under NHM as contract specialists directly to the posts of junior specialists,” Dr Liyak said.
Terming the appointment “biased and unfair,” he said the JS’ were appointed “in violation of the guidelines prescribed for recruitment of JS’ by the AP Health Service Rules, 2000, which states that recruitment of junior specialists should be done through viva test or written examination to be conducted by APPSC.”
Dr Liyak demanded cancellation of the appointment order, and said the seven seats be added to the 137 vacant posts advertised by the APPSC on 19 June “for free and fair competition.”
“This is the first time in the history of Arunachal Pradesh that contractual doctors are being appointed directly to regular JS post, causing chaos and disorder in the medical civil seniority list,” said Dr Takam Sakter.
He said appointing a contractual doctor directly to the JS’ post without conducting an interview “would be injustice towards private postgraduates and regular GDMOs with PG degrees who secured the post after clearing the APPSC examination.”
Dr Sakter specifically referred to the case of the department of gynaecology, in which five out of the total nine seats were given to NHM contractual doctors, leaving only three vacant seats for APST candidates and one for general competition.
“We want to know what kind of emergency occurred on the basis of which appointments were made and vacant seats were not recommended for recruitment through APPSC. If doctors were urgently needed, then why were GDMOs with PG degrees not appointed instead of contractual doctors?” he said.
Dr Sakter also questioned why the authority concerned did not discuss the shortage with the available working doctors before issuing the appointment order.
The JDA requested the state government to cancel the appointment and add the seven seats to the existing 137 posts to be recruited through the APPSC.
However, Health Secretary P Parthiban clarified that the regularization of the seven contractual NHM doctors was done because “an acute shortage of specialists was felt by the state cabinet.
“They were regularized as per recommendation given by cabinet meeting,” Parthiban said, adding that the cabinet had previously examined the availability of human resources, especially specialists, in the district hospitals.
“The state today needs more specialists, primarily gynaecologists, in hospitals spread across 25 districts, including CHCs, and the government is giving top priority to fill all the hospitals with specialist doctors.
“Recently, a few GDMOs were given charge of functionalist specialists who couldn’t become specialists due to seniority issues,” he said, adding that the health department has also started giving remuneration to them.
“The state government is working on a clear vision and trying to accommodate more specialists to empower our district hospitals, CHCs, and PHCs,” Parthiban said.