Vacancies for medical and para medical posts at a government hospital in Ratnagiri remain unfilled due to unwillingness by qualified persons to take up new assignments over fear of the novel coronavirus, the Maharashtra government informed the Bombay High Court Tuesday.
The state government submitted its affidavit in reply to a division bench of Justice A A Sayed and Justice Nitin Borkar, which was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions to the authorities to appoint adequate medical staff in government hospitals across Maharashtra ahead of the upcoming festivals, including Ganesh Utsav, when a large number of people were expected to travel to the Konkan region and other districts, thus aggravating the risk of spread of the coronavirus disease.
The state government said that it had initiated the process of recruitment for Ratnagiri Civil Hospital, however, it would take time as it involved verification of documents being submitted along with other formalities.
The affidavit stated, “It is pertinent to note that since the beginning, the department is continuously trying to fill up vacancies of medical and para medical staff including specialists, MBBS at our best level. No doubt there are some posts vacant, but those vacancies are caused on account of unwillingness of qualified persons to join government hospitals.”
It added, “Class II, III, IV employees are not responding to advertisements due to the fear of covid-19 in general public. Apart from this, the majority of existing staff are working under fear of local and political pressure.”
The state government also assured that it would direct the Ratnagiri district collector to take adequate steps and immediately fill up all vacant posts. After hearing submissions, the Court directed the petitioner to file a rejoinder to the state’s reply within a week and posted further hearing next week.
Responding to the court’s earlier directions asking the state to submit the measures it was taking to address the issues, additional government pleader Reena Salunkhe for the state submitted an affidavit that additional medical officers and health workers had been dispatched to the Ratnagiri for the festival season.
Affidavit filed by Sadhana M Tayde, Director, Commissioner of Health Services said that it had issued advertisements for recruitment of staff for 200-bed Civil hospital in Ratnagiri time to time and some of the appointed doctors including those having MBBS degree and specialists resigned due to local and personal problems. The affidavit stated that recent advertisements did not receive enough response.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines