Healthcare workers’ recruitment scrapped
The health ministry has cancelled the process for appointing 2,839 for the posts of medical technologists, technicians and cardiographers due to "ambiguity in the answer scripts of the written test".
In a circular issued on Monday, the ministry has also directed the director general of the health directorate to publish a fresh recruitment circular and complete the appointment process within a shot time.
Candidates who applied for written tests earlier will be eligible to take the fresh examination. They will not need to apply afresh, said the circular.
On April 13, the ministry had postponed the appointment process and formed a four-member probe committee, led by Additional Secretary Nazmul Haque Khan, to investigate anomalies in the recruitment test, which came to light through a report run by Bangla daily Prothom Alo the previous day.
Based on the report of the investigation committee, the ministry issued the circular cancelling the appointment process.
The circular said as the investigation report stated about ambiguities, the health directorate has been directed to arrange a re-test.
A source in the probe body said the committee was asked to submit its report within five days of its formation.
The jurisdiction of the committee was to examine whether the appointment process was right, whether there was any inconsistency in the answer scripts, and to identify those involved, if there were any.
Sharmin Akhter Jahan, then deputy secretary and also a member of the appointment committee, and Dr Abul Hashem, deputy director (administration) of the health directorate, had written to then Health Service Division secretary Abdul Mannan about the anomalies in the written test.
They said most of the candidates who secured abnormally high number in the written test could not do as well in the viva-voce.
The two alleged that Tk 15-20 lakh was taken as bribe from each of a group of the candidates for confirming they pass the written exam.
As the country's understaffed health sector had been struggling to provide healthcare to Covid patients, the health ministry took the initiative to appoint a large number of staffers.
Last year, the ministry also appointed 203 technicians on an emergency basis without any examination in accordance with an order issued by the president.
Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), yesterday said, "This cancelation of the appointment process proves that the report on anomalies was right. So the Prothom Alo should be thanked."
"However, the cancellation of the appointment process is not enough. Actions have to be taken against officials involved in the anomalies. Besides, the Anti-Corruption Commission should look into the matter," he said.
He also suggested making the investigation report public for the sake of public interest.
On June 29, the health directorate published the job circular to appoint 889 medical technologists, 1,800 medical technicians, and 150 cardiographers.
A total of 23,522 candidates were picked for the written test for the posts of medical technologists and around 50,000 for the post of medical technicians.
The written tests were held on December 12, 18, and 19 last year.
The viva-voce for those who passed the written tests was held on February 22 and March 10 this year.