Let merit prevail in GDMO posting


I want to start this letter with a disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am not an employee of the government of Arunachal Pradesh. Nobody insisted me to write this letter. I take full responsibility for whatever I will be writing. I write this disclaimer because I do not want to put into jeopardy anybody’s career.

I have been a citizen of Arunachal Pradesh long enough to witness several cases of injustices unfold. I consider it my duty to point out another one taking place: the case of appointment of the general doctor medical officer (GDMO).

On 7 May, 2021, the health & family welfare department released the appointment order to the post of medical officer (allopathy). The list contains the names of 65 doctors along with their respective places of posting.

The places of posting given to each doctor raises many questions, like, what is the basis of such appointments? Who is deciding which doctor gets which place of posting? Now some might argue that it is a total random decision like playing bingo. But truth be told, if you ask around the doctor circles, everybody knows how the posting is pre-decided. The guardians or close relative of some doctors are affluent and influential enough to make some moves behind the scenes.

Okay, let us for a moment agree to disagree and say, “No its all randomly decided, there is not an iota of bargaining or dishonesty from any side.” Then how do you explain the fact that some doctors who are ranked way ahead gets posted to far-off corners of the state while others who are way behind get posted to places near their homes? What is the meaning of the whole ranking system then? My letter is not a temper tantrum on why some doctors get posted far and some don’t. It is just unfair to a lot of doctors who work hard to get their rank and still get posted to such far-off places just because they do not have any connection with somebody from the inside.

And to the doctors who come from affluent families and who have the power through their guardians or relatives to pull such moves, I understand that equality feels like oppression to the privileged. This practice of pre-deciding the post of GDMO is not new. There have been cases earlier too. This has to stop. This might not be a big issue for a lot of people but it discourages many like me from working for the state government.

I request the higher authority, anybody in power who can make a change to put a stop to this practice and let merit system prevail. Let the doctors be given preference for their posting. Let them get their preferred posting based on their merit.
KK Jennifer