About thirty thousand posts in several categories including physicians and nurses are vacant in the health department, according to health ministry sources. Health Minister Zahid Maleque said in a regular bulletin of the health department on Thursday that 2,000 new doctors and 6,000 nurses would be recruited soon.
He also said that new hospitals were being set up, adding that doctors, nurses and health workers were attacked and undergoing treatment for Corona. In addition, some doctors and health workers have been affected, many have had to go into quarantine. “For this reason, two thousand more doctors and six thousand nurses are being appointed under the direction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.” Due to legal complications, these posts could not be filled for years. Although that obstacle was removed a year and a half ago, they have not been appointed yet.
There are 30,000 vacancies in the health sector including for medical technologists, pharmacists, ward boys, security guards, drivers, cleaners, third and fourth graders. A notification was issued for the recruitment of third- and fourth-class manpower, health ministry sources said. About seven and a half lakh applications were submitted. But the recruitment process did not move forward.
Public Health experts opined that medical management is not just physician and nurse-dependent. It also includes medical technologists, pharmacists, wardboys, security guards, drivers, cleaners, third and fourth class employees including Aya (cleaning staff). The Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) has confirmed that 191 health workers, including 221 doctors, 88 nurses and technologists, had been infected with covid-19 across the country till Friday.
BMA Secretary General Dr Ihteshamul Haque Chowdhury Dulal said that besides health workers, doctors and nurses, third and fourth class manpower is also very much important. There is a task of extensive sample testing for corona identification. This job requires a medical technologist first.
He further said that there is talk of appointing doctors on an ad hoc basis. This is a very time-consuming matter. In addition, opportunities for unethical deals may be created. Thus, out of about eight and a half thousand doctors who have passed 39 special BCS examinations, appointments can be made according to merit.
Former Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and former President of BMA Prof. Dr. Rashid-e Mahbub said, “officials involved in health management talk one thing at a time, but make different decisions. The minister announced the decision to recruit 2,000 doctors and 6,000 nurses.”
He said, health service is a collaborative management. All staff are needed to tackle this situation. They must be appointed within a short time. In this regard, Habibur Rahman Khan, Additional Secretary (Administration) of the Department of Health Services, said that the recruitment of third- and fourth-class manpower was suspended due to the Corona situation. Because out of seven and a half lakh applicants, the examination center has to be selected first. But it will not be possible for the examinees to attend the center as the transportation is closed.
However, there are ongoing discussions on what can be done as an alternative. Regarding the appointment of doctors, Habibur Rahman Khan said that there are over eight thousand doctors who have passed 39 special BCS. From there, it is being discussed whether the appointment can be made according to merit. Recruitment on an ad hoc basis is also being discussed. The process that is considered better, will be done.