Pathologist Dr Sucheta Gandhe (30) was appointed medical officer in a municipal hospital in Ahmednagar within a few hours of her applying for the post.
It was a first for the usually tardy state health services recruitment process.
The process for the recruitment of medical officers for all government hospitals in the state commenced on Tuesday and will go on for the next eight days.
A medical officer is an administrative and clinical head of a government hospital or medical college at the village level.
This time, the Health Department has made a change in the recruitment process, one which promises to go a long way in reducing corruption in postings and improving health-care in state-run hospitals.
The recruitment process, based on results of the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) examination, has given meritorious candidates first choice of the district or hospital where they wish to serve.
Once a candidate makes his choice, he is immediately given the posting through a sealed appointment letter.
“It rules out doctors getting postings of their choice with recommendations from superiors,” said Additional Chief Secretary of Public Health Chandra Iyengar. “The choice can be made by the candidates depending on the availability of the seats.”
There are 1,079 vacant seats in government hospitals and health-care centres, making the system dependent on temporary doctors, especially in rural areas.
Recruitments are underway on the basis of the 2006 MPSC examination results. About 160 seats were filled on Tuesday. “We gave our exams in 2006 and we are being called in for interviews in two years,” said Dr Radhakrishna Pawar. “The last batch of 2000 got their appointment letters just six months ago.”