Nagaland Medical Students Raise Concern Over Non Recruitment Of Medical Officers - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland medical students raise concern over non recruitment of medical officers

By EMN Updated: Apr 09, 2024 10:53 pm

DIMAPUR — The Nagaland Medical Students’ Association (NMSA) has urged the government to initiate transparent recruitment to the sanctioned medical officer posts that are currently filled by contractual doctors.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, the association expressed dissatisfaction over the recent advertisement for the Combined Technical Services Examination (CTSE) to be conducted by the Nagaland Public Service Commission (NPSC), stating that it, “glaringly omits recruitment for medical officer positions”.

“This omission comes as a stark contrast to the growing need for healthcare professionals in the state, which has been grappling with a doctor shortage,” it said, pointing out that it has been three years since medical officers were last recruited through the CTSE.

According to the NMSA, since 2021, over 250 medical graduates have been eagerly awaiting an equitable, transparent and merit-based opportunity to compete in the CTSE for medical officer positions, and the burgeoning number of medical graduates each year only intensifies the competition, further emphasising the urgency for recruitment.

However, “there has been a worrying lack of initiative to recruit for over 183 sanctioned medical officer posts currently occupied by state contract doctors and contractual COVID doctor appointees,” despite the government’s awareness of the state’s deficit in healthcare providers, it claimed.

The association pointed out that the state has only one doctor for every 4,056 people which falls short of the World Health Organisation-recommended ratio of one doctor per 1,000.

Further, the practice of hiring doctors on a contractual basis not only undermines the prospects of current students and fresh graduates but also affects the contract doctors themselves, given the upper age limit for the NPSC examinations, it said.

In this connection, the association underscored that the stagnation of recruitment through the CTSE is poised to have a detrimental impact on the state’s public health services.

It also advocated for medical officer recruitment (MBBS) as the sole entry route into the state government’s Health and Family Welfare Department.

The NMSA opposed the creation of a ‘specialist cadre’ for recruitment in the NPSC CTSE, stating that the shortage of specialist doctors in district hospitals across the state can be more effectively addressed by reorganising specialist doctors stationed at primary health centres (PHCs) and community health centres (CHCs) to district hospitals (DH).

This reorganisation of specialist doctors can enhance the utilisation of the valuable expertise and skills of these specialists. “By transferring them to district hospitals equipped with advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies, we can elevate the quality of public healthcare services and optimise the delivery of care to our communities,” it added.

It also said that all 22 seats occupied by in-service doctors who have joined the new state medical college — Nagaland Institute of Medical Science and Research (NIMSR) — should be advertised for recruitment (medical officers) through written and viva voce examinations by NPSC.

Furthermore, the association called upon the government to initiate prompt recruitment measures for all sanctioned medical officer posts currently occupied by state contract doctors and contractual COVID doctors appointees, as well as the 22 medical officer posts, thus granting all eligible graduates a fair chance to qualify by merit and contribute to the state’s healthcare services.

It also appealed to all conscientious citizens, civil society organisations, student bodies, and especially the government to prevent the erosion of the healthcare system by ensuring that medical officers are recruited through a process that is advertised, written and viva qualified by NPSC, ensuring a meritocracy that provides the population with the healthcare they rightfully deserve.

The NMSA describes itself as a “professional body representing medical students and advocating for issues affecting their education, career prospects, and the healthcare system at large”.

By EMN Updated: Apr 09, 2024 10:53:21 pm
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