Cuttack, Nov. 29: The Odisha government has conceded that no homoeopathic or ayurvedic doctors have been appointed in the state since the high court issued directions for filling up the vacant posts 17 months ago.
While 208 posts of homoeopathic medical officers have not yet been filled up, there are 129 vacant posts of ayurvedic medical officers.
Taking note of non-compliance of its direction, the high court had issued a contempt notice to the Odisha health secretary on October 12.
In an affidavit filed in response to the contempt notice, Odisha health secretary Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra said the posts of homoeopathic and ayurvedic medical officers had been upgraded to Class-II posts. Consequently, new recruitment rules for these posts are required.
“The draft recruitment rules that have been prepared by the department after the upgrade have been placed before the Odisha Public Service Commission for its approval. After finalisation of the said recruitment rules, steps will be taken for filling up the vacant posts of homoeopathic and ayurvedic medical officers at the earliest,” Mohapatra said.
An affidavit filed before the court on November 17 indicated that the homoeopathic and ayurvedic medical officer posts were upgraded with effect from December 26, 2008.
On June 27, 2011, the court had fixed a 12-week deadline for the Odisha government to fill up all the sanctioned posts of allopathic, homoeopathic and ayurvedic doctors lying vacant across the state.
“Necessary infrastructure may also be provided to all the dispensaries and primary healthcare centres in the state,” the court said in its order while adjudicating on a petition filed by Keonjhar Zilla Surakhshya Parishad secretary Dillip Kumar Mohapatra seeking “appropriate action for non-compliance of the order”.
In his affidavit, Mohapatra further conceded that 588 posts of allopathic medical officers of different grades were lying vacant. “Shortage of doctors is a national phenomenon. The presence of medical personnel is often much less than the required norms. In the above context, an attempt has been made by this department for rationalisation of posting of at least one allopathic doctor in each primary health centre of a district. Wherever there is a shortage of such doctor, an Ayush doctor will be made available either from the National Rural Health Mission or from the wing of the Odisha chapter of the directorate of Indian medicine and homoeopathy,” the affidavit said, while pleading for dismissal of the contempt petition.