Faced with ‘false’ promises for permanent recruitment in state healthcare services young doctors working as medical officers (MO) on an ad hoc basis have threatened to quit government service.
This comes at a time when there is an acute shortfall of around 2,000 doctors in secondary and primary health service sacross Bengal . The state government has recruited around 900 MOs on ad hoc basis since 2010 in order to provide basic emergency healthcare mainly in primary and block primary health centres.
None of them has been given permanent appointment by the government so far though the chief minister Mamata Banerjee regularly claims in different programmes that the health department has recruited nearly 5,000 doctors since Trinamool came to power in 2011.
According to sources at Swasthya Bhavan, about 20 such MOs have already left the job and joined in private nursing homes or hospitals. Many young doctors have written letters to the chief minister, minister of state for health and director of health services (DHS) conveying their grievances.
A group of young doctors met DHS Dr BR Satpathi on Tuesday demanding permanent appointment. The aggrieved doctors feared that it would be difficult for them to study post-graduate courses like MD or MS if they do not get permanent jobs in government service soon.
“After assuming the charge at Writers’ Buildings the chief minister held a meeting with doctors including us at Town Hall. She assured us of permanent appointment. But nothing is done even after we wrote her a letter about one year ago requesting her intervention. Finally I left the job as MO in Jangipara block primary health centre. Now I am attached with a nursing home,” Dr Pinki Kundu said.
“Many of us have also left the job in different primary healthcare. We are being deprived of getting the advantage of quota reservations in MD and MS course under the service quota. We are both financially and academically losers despite proving service to the government,” Kundu said.
According to the Medical Council of India rules, 40% seats are reserved for MD and MS course for those candidates who have served the rural healthcare in state health service wing for at least three years.
“We have no job security working as MOs on ad hoc basis since 2010 though we provide emergency service like delivery cases and other primary treatment. Many of us are also looking for jobs in private healthcare,” said a MO of Tarekeswar-based health centre in Hooghly.
“We have extended the ad service of these doctors but we can not recruit them in permanent service with the finance department’s approval,” said a senior official in the state directorate of health services.