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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Docs to wait for Shahi nod

Ranchi, April 30: Health minister Bhanu Pratap Shahi won over agitated contractual doctors with an assurance to absorb them through oral examinations.

The doctors, in response, have deferred their decision to resign en masse. Now they will wait for the minister’s decision that is likely to be come in a couple of days. The doctors are to lose their contract on May 4.

Around 150 contract doctors from different districts of the state had assembled at Nepal House to meet the health minister.

Over 90 minutes of intense interaction between contract doctors and the minister convinced Shahi to call for the records of MGM College, Jamshedpur and Patliputra Medical College, Dhanbad, where tutors were appointed on the basis of a viva test.

“The minister reacted positively and called for the relevant files. He assured that he would check our files and take a decision in a few days,” Bimlesh Singh, president of Jharkhand Contractual Doctors’ Association (JCDA) told The Telegraph.

Singh said even the Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC) chairman is favourably disposed towards them because doctors were appointed on the basis of an interview and not a written test.

But the health department had requested the JPSC to appoint 1,070 doctors through a written test carrying 400 marks following a 40-mark interview. What agitated the contract doctors most was that experience only carried a weightage of 10 marks.

“In case of contract doctors, who have been working for the past four years, experience was the winning factor. But the health department was negating its validity,” Singh said.

The contract doctors were apprehensive that they would be at a disadvantage vis-à-vis the fresh graduates as they had graduated years ago and now have specialised in a particular field.

Testing them on some other field would be unfair, Singh pointed out.

The doctors had called off their agitation last December on the health minister’s assurance.

Following today’s interaction with Shahi, doctors are hopeful to be absorbed en masse or have their services regularised.

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