Adhocism hits fitness of Health Deptt, halts even routine matters

Pick & choose in absence of no regular promotions

Nishikant Khajuria

JAMMU, Jan 13: At the time when Health system of entire country is picking up to meet the challenges posed by unprecedented Corona pandemic, adhocism continues to galore in Health and Medical Education Department in Jammu and Kashmir where a number of significant and top positions are lying vacant and assigned as additional charge to the officers.
As the incumbent officers are overburdened by this adhoc arrangement and holding charge of these vacant posts in addition to their own duties, the prevailing system is severely affecting work culture in the Health Department, particularly in Jammu region where routine matters are pending.
Besides, assigning of the additional charge as make shift arrangement for months together is blocking the top posts for other deserving officers who accuse the Government of adopted pick and choose policy for the adhoc arrangement to favour some juniors by ignoring the seniors.
Non-seriousness of the Government can be gauged from the fact that even the post of Director Family Welfare, J&K, who has the overall responsibility of much talked about COVID-19 vaccination drive, is awaiting appointment of a full time officer since retirement of then incumbent Dr Chander Parkash on November 30.
Dr Renu Sharma, who is Director Health Service Jammu and also holding the charge of Deputy Director Headquarters, has been assigned the charge of Director Family Welfare in addition to her own duties since the retirement of Dr Chander Parkash.
Similarly, the posts of Zonal Leprosy Officer and Medical Store Officer, SMGS Hospital Jammu remained vacant since the retirement of Dr Jyoti Slathia and Dr Shahida Parveen, respectively on November 30 till recent assigning of the charge to Dr Anila Koul, Venerologist and Dr Aparna Koul (Casualty Medical Officer), respectively in addition to their own duties.
Dr Belu Sharma, Incharge Malariologist, J&K is having additional charge of Administrative Medical Officer (ADMO) Labour, Employees Scheme Insurance (ESI) while the post of Principal Government Ayurvedic Medical College cum Hospital, Akhnoor Jammu has been assigned to Principal GMC Jammu Dr Shashi Sudan in addition to her own duties.
Sources alleged pick and choose by the Administrative department in assigning the charge of Medical Superintendents and other positions by ignoring the seniority aspect. The department is encouraging the adhocism to favour their blue eyed officers and this is the reason that DPC is not being conducted for regular promotions, sources added.
Some Medical Officers are holding charge of significant administrative positions, including Medical Superintendents of big hospitals notwithstanding being junior to those, who are either given no position or sidelined.
Further, the plea that make-shift arrangement is not permanent posting, gives an excuse to the Administrative department in case the genuine aspirants legally challenge the action, sources explained.
Pertinent to mention here that 25 senior most Medical Officers were shortlisted in February last year for their regular promotion. APRs of these officers were also submitted to the department besides the required Vigilance clearance. However, even after close to a year, no promotion order was issued by the Administrative department for the reasons best known to the concerned authorities. Regular promotions in the Health Department were last time effected in 2012.