Unable to fill vacancies of government doctors meant for Dalits, the Haryana government has, for now, de-reserved 241 posts meant for Scheduled Castes, as also some reserved for Ex-Servicemen (ESM) category.
Notably, the government has failed to find Dalit candidates despite the fact that Scheduled Castes comprise 20% of the state’s population. The state cabinet on Thursday decided to carry forward these 241 posts of Haryana Civil Medical Services (HSMS) on account of non-availability of applicants. “It means these posts will be given to these categories – SCs and ESM – whenever there are candidates from these sections in future,” says a senior officer. “Non-availability of applicants belonging to these categories is an important reason for the shortage of doctors in Haryana,” stated a proposal passed by the state government.
After the cabinet meeting, state’s Health Minister Anil Vij told The Indian Express they were trying their best to recruit candidates from the SC category but could not get enough applications. He said the backlog of reserved posts had been piling up for the almost five years. “We had no other option but to de-reserve because we want to fill the vacant posts,” Vij said. The state is reeling under a severe shortage of doctors because of shortfall of about 1,000 doctors.
Haryana has a sanctioned strength of 3,250 doctors. However, former president of Haryana Nagarpalika Karmchari Sangh, Poonam Chand Ratti, doesn’t agree with the arguments of the government for de-reserving the reserved posts. “It’s a matter of concern they are not even finding applicants for the posts of government doctors. De-reservation is not a solution.
They should have encouraged SC candidates to opt the medical profession offering all types of help,” he said. President of Dalit-A Mahapanchayat Haryana, Devi Das Valmiki, also termed the decision as anti-Dalit. On the other hand, General Secretary of Haryana Civil Medical Services Association, Dr Rajesh Sheokand, welcomed the decision.
“Because of different reasons, only about 2,000 doctors are working in government hospitals currently, against the sanctioned strength of 3,250. There was a need of immediate filling of these vacant posts to provide relief to patients at government hospitals,” he said. Meanwhile, the state cabinet also approved recruitment of 662 new doctors for the government hospitals.