Paramilitary forces want over 600 doctors to aid combat troops

NEW DELHI, June 15:
Faced with a critical shortage of doctors to aid troops undertaking anti-Naxal operations and border guarding duties, the government has announced a fresh recruitment drive to hire over 600 such professionals.
The maximum of these vacancies are in country’s largest paramilitary force CRPF with 123 posts vacant for specialist medical officers in various important disciplines like Medicine, Surgery and Orthopaedics.
The forces, according to a senior paramilitary officer, have been wanting to fill a number of vacant posts in this domain for a long time, essentially for troops deployed in operations.
The Union Home Ministry, in the latest drive, wants to recruit a total of 218 specialist medical officers, 390 medical officers and one specialist Dental Surgeon.
The total vacancies are 609.
“The paramilitary forces, especially those in anti-Naxal and border guarding tasks, have a critical shortage of doctors on field. The new drive is expected to bring some relief from the point of view of providing quick medical aid to troops,” the official said.
The new recruits will be given combat ranks of Deputy Commandants (specialist doctors) and Assistant Commandants (medical officers) in forces like Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Sashastra Seema Bal and Assam Rifles.
While the BSF, which guards Indo-Pakistan and Indo-Bangla borders, needs 57 specialists, the corresponding figures for other forces are SSB (20), ITBP (12) and Assam Rifles (6).
The SSB guards Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan frontiers, ITBP the India-China frontier and Assam Rifles is currently securing the Indo-Myanmar border. Apart from this, all these forces are drawn into a variety of duties in the internal security domain of the country.
The forces need specialist doctors in the medical streams of Gynaecology, Anaesthesia, Radiology, Pathology, Opthalmology, Psychiatry and Paediatrics.
Last year, these forces recruited close to 250 doctors, against the double number of vacancies they had advertised.
“The recruitment drives conducted earlier were not able to get the required number of doctors which is an area of concern. The forces have moved a joint proposal to the Home Ministry to authorise some incentives for young professionals for a stint with these forces,” the official said.
Sources said one reason for these vacancies not getting filled up could be attributed to the hard duties and inhospitable areas that the doctors would be required to work in.
The doctors, once recruited, will be desired to accompany the battalions and units that move into operational areas. (PTI)

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