2,000 More Doctors: Recruitment urgent, process uncertain

doctors infected with coronavirus
Representational photo

The government is going to recruit 2,000 more doctors to tackle the Covid-19 crisis, but the doctors are worried about the recruitment process.

The health ministry has already written to the public administration ministry in this regard.

Bangladesh Public Service Commission, which is constitutionally responsible for appointing government officials, said it would take the final decision after receiving the letter from the public administration ministry.

In May, the government appointed 2,000 new doctors to deal with the coronavirus outbreak situation. They have already joined work. The PSC had recommended their appointment from the non-cadre list of the 39th special BCS for doctors.

However, the health ministry is now saying that they no longer want doctors from the non-cadre list of the 39th BCS. Instead, the 2,000 new doctors should be recruited through a special BCS exam.

Health Services Division Secretary Abdul Mannan yesterday told The Daily Star, "More doctors are needed to deal with the current Covid-19 situation. The process of appointing 2,000 new assistant surgeons is underway. We informed the public administration ministry of the matter. We want their recruitment soon. However, we have said we do not want doctors from the waiting list of the 39th BCS to be recruited again."

But candidates are worried about how the recruitment tests will be completed at this time. Besides, it took over a year to publish the results of the 39th special BCS exams and complete the recruitment process. There were no written tests in the exams. Only preliminary and viva tests were held.

Some 13,152 candidates passed in the viva. The PSC recommended the appointment of 4,792 doctors from them. In November last year, the public administration ministry issued a circular appointing 4,443 of them to the health cadre. The rest were kept in the non-cadre list.

From the list, 2,000 doctors were recruited to handle the coronavirus crisis in May. More than 6,000 doctors are still in the list.

At least 50 candidates, who have passed the BCS exams, told this newspaper that the 39th special BCS was held only for doctors. Doctors were recruited from the non-cadre list a few days ago. So, the new 2,000 doctors should be appointed from the list without holding any special BCS exams.

On the other hand, many doctors who passed and are in the non-cadre list of the 38th general BCS, whose results were published recently, said about 6,500 doctors were appointed through the 39th special BCS. They attended only preliminary and viva tests.

And the candidates of the 38th BCS went through a long process. They had to face written tests. They are seniors. Therefore, doctors in the non-cadre list of the 38th BCS should be appointed along with those in the 39th BCS.

They have already wrote to the health ministry and the PSC in this regard.

Doctors, who are in the non-cadre list of the 38th BCS, talked about the lengthy process of completing a special BCS.

A candidate, who is in the non-cadre list, said, "It took over a year to complete the 39th special BCS in normal time. Now there is coronavirus outbreak in the country. If a new process starts, it may happen that the crisis period will be over. But doctors will not be recruited."

A letter from the health ministry said considering the overall situation, the government has decided to appoint 2,000 more doctors on an urgent basis to treat the Covid-19 patients. They will be posted to various Covid-19 hospitals. After the coronavirus crisis is over, they will be posted to different hospitals in health cadre as per the health department decision.

Health Services Division Secretary Abdul Mannan said, "There is an urgent need. We don't want to waste time in holding preliminary or written tests. The PSC will definitely find a way out."

PSC Chairman Muhammed Sadique told The Daily Star yesterday that they have not decided what the process would be for hiring the 2,000 new doctors. 

"When we will get the letter from the public administration ministry to this end, the commission will hold a meeting and decide what to do next."


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