The recent appointment of 304 medical officers in Chhattisgarh is being cancelled after irregularities were found in their selection. They make up 65 per cent of the total 494 appointments.
All the 494 recruitments were for gazetted officer grade and the basic qualification was MBBS and registration with the Medical Council of India. A departmental probe, however, found that many of the appointed officers had BAMS (Ayurveda) and BHMS (Homeopathy) degrees and some had not completed even their MBBS.
Deputy Director, Medical Education, Kirti Charan Uraon, who supervised the recruitment process, has been removed and issued a show-cause notice.
Of the nearly 1,600 sanctioned posts of medical officers in Chhattisgarh, around 500 are vacant — most of these in Bastar. Had the present appointment process been valid, the state would have filled up almost its entire quota of medical officers.
A probe penal headed by senior government doctor S K Binjhwar submitted its report to the Chhattisgarh Medical Education Department last week and noted that of the total 494 appointees, just 190 (around 35 per cent) met the eligibility criteria.
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“Some were yet to complete even their MBBS internship. Some others had BHMS (Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery) and BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) degrees. They were all found ineligible,” Binjhwar told The Indian Express.
Director, Medical Education, Pratap Singh confirmed that the appointment of 304 doctors would be cancelled.
Applications had been invited for the post of medical officers in December 2013. Around 700 applications were received and after scrutiny 494 were selected. The matter surfaced after a whistleblower raised the issue within the department. Subsequently in June, Singh set up a probe under Binjhwar, who called the appointees with documents for verification between June 28 and 30. As many of them failed to turn up, they were called again in July. However, as many as 251 of the selected doctors did not appear for the verification and of the 243 doctors who turned up, 53 were found ineligible.
Significantly, they were not only appointed, they were also given employment letters, and orders issued for their postings. Many of them had joined too.
Moreover, while the maximum vacancy of medical officer posts was in the tribal zone of Bastar, the newly appointed doctors were sent to cities such as Durg and Bilaspur.
The Medical Department has now sent letters to chief medical officers of these districts asking them to cancel their joining.
Calling the findings “a big scam”, the Congress has targeted Chief Minister Raman Singh. “The Chief Minister himself is a doctor, and such a massive scam in the medical department could not have taken place without his connivance. Since the matter is related to health services, where the state fares very badly, he owes an explanation. The links of these appointees with BJP leaders must be probed,” Congress spokesperson Shailesh Nitin Trivedi said.