Nagpur: The conflict initiated by two main bodies of doctors practising different schools of medicines has cost government jobs to more than 9,000 Ayurvedic practitioners in the state.
After strong opposition from the National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) for the exit test and the legal action warning from the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on the issue of conditionality, the state health services directorate has cancelled the second phase of recruitment of community health officials 21 districts.
On February 19, the government published a recruitment announcement of 9,515 community health officers to work in the health and welfare centres (HWC). The qualification for the job was a degree in Ayurvedic medicine and surgery (BAMS).
It was mentioned in the announcement that the BAMS candidates had to undergo a six-month training, once completed, they would have to present themselves for the exit exam. Those who successfully complete the exit test will be designated as community health officers at HWC in the same district or in a nearby district based on the vacancy.
NIMA opposed the exit test clause. On the other hand, IMA opposed the whole idea of designating BAMS doctors in the HWC who claim that it is a case of indifference that is not ethical. After this strong opposition, the state government decided to cancel the second phase of recruitment.
Phase 1 of similar types of recruitment is underway without problems and more than 1,200 doctors have already received conditional appointment letters even before passing the exit test.
Dr Vijay Kandewad, nodal officer of the national rural health mission (Maharashtra) said that his department was willing to make these 9,000 appointments in the next two years. “The announcement was published in February and the last filing date for the application was February 28. Subsequently, we extended the date. But the opposition of two main bodies of medical practitioners made us take this step. “The BAMS doctors appointed through this process would get fixed salaries of Rs25,000 plus up to Rs15,000 incentives.
“These recruits were under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, which has the backing of the central government.” The qualification and exit test clauses were decided solely by the central government. “As the job announcement was reminded, our plan to start 9,000 HWC more in the state also faced a big shake, “he said.
Meanwhile, those who requested the second phase recruitment are recovering their fees from the health officials of the respective district. Because the model code of conduct is in place, new recruits will not be made until at least the current elections.