A delay by the Public Service Commission (PSC) in recruiting doctors has forced the government to go for ad hoc recruitment where the experts fear lies an immense scope for politicisation.
As some 6,861 posts of doctors have been vacant since long and PSC failed to arrange a special BCS for them, the government has decided to recruit some 4,133 doctors on an ad hoc basis.
"As it would take four years to recruit doctors through BCS exams and the PSC could not hold special BCS for them yet, we have no alternative to an ad-hoc basis recruitment," said Prof Shah Monir Hossain, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
"We sent a letter to PSC for holding special BCS exam for doctors. But the commission said there is no provision for special BCS for doctors in BCS rules," said Prof Shah Monir.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also sent a letter on June 15 to PSC seeking its advice. But PSC's response was something like "No suggestions from the commission is needed for an ad hoc basis recruitment."
However, health experts fear ad hoc process will not solve the problem, as it might politicise the health sector and the people who would be recruited will also have to sit for BCS examinations for regularising their job.
It would ultimately create a group of low quality health professionals, as before regularising their jobs they will not get opportunities for higher education and training to improve their quality, said the health experts.
They will join as assistant surgeons and will remain in that position, as these are non-cadre posts.
There remains a scope for politicisation in such recruitment, said Prof Rashid E Mahbub, former president of Bangladesh Medical Association.
In 1982, some 1362 health professionals were recruited on ad hoc basis and many of them are yet to be regularised. Only half of them were regularised until 2006.
The DGHS has already published advertisement in different newspapers and the candidates could apply by September 30. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will arrange the recruitment process.
A committee led by BD Mitra, additional secretary of health ministry, has formulated a policy for ad hoc basis recruitment.