The state health department in Bihar is set to recruit 3,100 doctors through the Bihar Technical Commission (BTC) without candidates having to appear for any written test or interview. This time, doctors will be appointed on the basis of marks.
The process is expected to be completed within the next three months.
Health minister Mangal Pandey on Thursday defended the government’s decision not to have any written test for the appointment. “From the time of cracking the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to undergraduate medical or dental courses, an undergraduate medico has to qualify at least nine examinations in four-and-a-half years to become a doctor. Is that not enough?” Pandey said when asked by reporters if the government was compromising on quality and competence of doctors coming into their fold.
The minister, however, did not mention about the acute shortage of doctors in Bihar.
Dr Ranjit Kumar, general secretary of the Bihar Health Services Association, claimed there was over 70 per cent shortage of doctors in the state. This, he said, had compelled the government to do away with interviews.
“There are only around 2,700 regular doctors working against a sanctioned strength of 11,393 in health services (district hospitals, primary health centres, additional primary health centres, community health centres, health sub centres, etc.). The scenario in medical education (assistant professors and above in medical colleges) is marginally better, with 65% shortage against over 70% in health services,” said Kumar.
Citing delay in appointment of doctors through the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC), the health department had amended rules a couple of months ago to route their appointment through the Bihar Technical Commission.
In doing so, it had dispensed with the arrangement of candidates having to appear for interview. Instead, the BTC will now judge them purely on the basis of marks obtained in undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses and work experience.