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Confusion clouds civil surgeon rejig

Patna, July 3: The confusion and uncertainty over transfer of civil surgeons in the state refuses to die down. Three days have passed since issuing of the notification but the state health department is yet to take a final decision on the matter.

According to sources, the notification could not be issued on June 30, according to norms, as large-scale irregularities were found in the list of senior doctors to be appointed as civil surgeons in all 38 districts.

Sources in the health department said that according to government rules, civil surgeons are appointed or reshuffled in the month of June every year and notification is issued by June 30. However, the final list could not be sanctioned by health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey on June 30 as officials in the secretariat noticed that many doctors listed for the appointments were either tainted or did not fulfill eligibility criteria for the post.

“According to practice, the officials in the department prepare a list every year which is then sent to the health minister for approval. However, this year, the minister pointed out that many doctors recommended for the postings did not meet the eligibility criteria. The list was altered by him and sent back to the department which noted that this list, too, is full of errors and as a result of the confusion, the file got stuck,” said a source.

He added that the department’s new criterion for the appointment of civil surgeons, deputy civil surgeons, deputy superintendents in medical colleges and other hospitals and superintendents in various hospitals has added to the confusion.

“According to the new rule, only those doctors whose service period is more than two years can now hold these posts. A list of 98 doctors had been prepared on the basis of seniority and the newly laid criterion after a screening committee comprising of health department principal secretary and many private and retired doctors recommended these names. They were later called for an interview but the department could not shortlist the required number of doctors for all 38 districts and therefore the new rule went for a toss. While some names have been included according to the new norm, some others violate department’s own decision,” the source added.

He said the situation had arisen, as there was conflict of views between the health minister and health department principal secretary over the proposed names.

Senior officials in the department said as they had exceeded the stipulated timeframe for the transfer and appointments, the ball will now be directly in the chief minister’s court. “Now, according to norms, the file will be sent to CM secretariat after amendment and officials there will take a final decision on the matter,” said a senior official in the department.

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