H&ME deptt issues order, asks appointees to report places of posting within 10 days
A week after J&K High Court directed the State government not to fill posts of Medical Officers (MOs) and take a decision with reference to the request of petitioners, Health and Medical Education (H&ME) department Tuesday clarified that it would not allow MOs to continue their postgraduate courses while blocking posts.
The move comes after the J&K Public Service Commission sanctioned appointments of 921 candidates as Medical Officers in the State and some appointees moved High Court to allow them to continuing studies in medical colleges.
In an order issued here, H&ME department said it had taken into account law on the subject and the circumstances stating that appointees will have to opt in or opt out in order to ensure availability of doctors at the peripheral hospital across the State.
“We have decided that appointees will not be allowed to continue with their studies (PG/Senior Residency/ Registrarship/Demonstratorship) in medical colleges and they will have only one choice either to opt for appointment or opt out and go for studies and next candidates from waiting will be considered for appointment,” the order said.
The order issued by Principal Secretary to the Government, H&ME department, Atal Dulloo said the case of the petitioners had duly been considered in compliance with the court directions in various writ petitions.
The Health department in the order asked all the petitioners to report at their places of postings mentioned in the government order No 49-HME of 2019 dated January 14, 2019.
“All petitioners are directed to report at their places of posting within a period of 10 days from the date of issuance of this order failing which their appointments shall be deemed to have been cancelled and candidates from the waiting list will be considered for appointment without any further notice,” the order reads.
On January 15, the Health department issued appointment orders to 921 medical officers recruited on a fast-track basis to augment healthcare facilities in the rural and far-flung areas of the State.
In August this year, the State government decided to eliminate the interview process for the appointment of doctors to fast-track their recruitment.
The department is facing a huge problem as doctors are leaving for the Middle East and West after completing their studies at government expenses in the State.
As per the recent Economic Survey report, the doctor-patient ratio in J&K is 1:1658 against the World Health Organisation’s recommended norm of 1:1000.
A high rung official in the Health department said in the past years, in Kashmir division alone, 300 doctors found absent from their duties had been terminated.
“Those doctors who fail to do so will not get second time–bound promotion. Postgraduate students will not be allowed to join service during PG. It will be compulsory to serve in rural areas after studies,” he said.
As per him, the department was working on implementing a transfer policy in letter and spirit to make sure that fresh recruits serve in far off areas for at least five years.