OUT of the 6,151 candidates who qualified as doctors through the 33 rd BCS exams, 1,647 have been made Officers on Special Duty (OSDs) attached to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in Dhaka. Surprisingly, it was not part of any easing off as in administrative service that these newly appointed doctors were made OSDs. Contrary to the usual practice, those doctors chose to become OSDs of their own volition. Interestingly, the work stations of most those OSDs are upazila or union health complexes that are situated within hailing distance of the capital.
How could such irregularities take place under the health administration's watch?
While the administration argues that these appointments as OSDs have been made as there are few positions vacant for these entry level doctors at the upazila or union health complexes, the reality as reported in the Thursday issue of this paper is quite different. In fact, such appointments to favour some doctors have been made despite the fact that there are many positions vacant for them at the health complexes situated in the rural areas. Evidently, this involves gross irregularities in the placements of BCS health cadres. This is quite unacceptable, especially, in a situation where we have only three doctors for every 10, 00 persons, according to a WHO estimate.
The country can ill-afford such skewed demographic distribution of doctors in the public health sector. The government must look into it and address it as a matter of urgency so that the rural people may not be deprived of their right to essential health service.