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February 22, 2014

WB Govt passes law to speed up recruitment of doctors

WB Govt passes law to speed up recruitment of doctors

The West Bengal Assembly has passed a law to form a board to speed up the recruitment of doctors in government hospitals. The West Bengal State Health Service (Amendment) Bill will pave the way for the West Bengal Health Recruitment Board, which will take over the medical recruitment from the state Public Service Commission (PSC).

MoS Health Chandrima Bhattacharya, who placed the bill in the House, said vacancies were taking a long time to get filled up through the PSC.

“The process of filling up vacancies through the PSC was slow. If we had to depend on PSC, the vacancies would not have been filled up. The West Bengal Health Recruitment Board was formed to make the recruitment process less time-consuming,” she said.

The government health care system has as many as 5,523 vacancies now, out of which as many as 2,500 are posts for doctors.

At public meetings and interactions with the health department officials, West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee has often expressed her dissatisfaction with the number of doctors and nurses available in the state-run hospitals. At a function in the School of Tropical Medicine on February 20, she had asked young doctors at the School of Tropical Medicine to stay back in Bengal.

“We have already increased the number of beds to 14,600. The process of building more hospitals and medical colleges is on, so we need more doctors,” MoS Health Chandrima Bhattacharya said.

The minister said the number of seats in the medical colleges too had gone up to 2,750 and the government wanted to create a pool of doctors for the new facilities coming up across the state.

Recruitment of medical officers – specialists and general duty – has already been brought under the purview of the health recruitment board. The passage of the bill will give it legislative moorings.

The recruitment board has started seeking applications for medical technologists. The category has around 900 vacancies in the state.