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August 21, 2019

SHC takes exception to SPSC decision to interview doctors who failed written exams


August 21, 2019

The Sindh High Court on Tuesday took exception to the conduct of the Sindh Public Service Commission in interviewing candidates for posts of doctors who failed their written examinations.

The direction came during a hearing of a petition seeking appointments of doctors to government-run hospitals in Shikarpur and the provision of adequate medical facilities for patients.

At the previous hearing, the high court had taken notice of the delay in the appointment of over 1,700 doctors, including specialists, to vacant posts of government-run hospitals in the province and directed the health department to explain why vacant posts had not been filled.

The deputy secretary of the health department submitted that 41 percent of the recruitment had been completed. The court asked a health department official as to why the remaining posts of doctors and specialists were not filled.

The law officer of the SPSC informed the court that various candidates failed the written tests, but their interviews were being conducted for their employment.

A division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar observed that it is strange to know that various candidates failed to clear the written examination but their interviews were being taken for appointments.

The law officer submitted that there were provisions in the rules under which interviews could be taken. The court directed the SPSC law officer to place on record such rules which may demonstrate that despite failure in the written examination the candidate may appear before the interview committee and he may be considered for appointment, which, the court said, is a totally absurd situation.

The court also directed the health department official to submit a breakdown of recruitment, including their postings, with regard to the number of requisitions and the number of recommendations made by the SPSC and what the reasons were for not filling the remaining posts of doctors and specialists.

The petitioner, Shahab Usto, submitted in the petition that several victims of the Shikarpur Imambargah blast a couple of years ago had to be shifted to hospitals in Sukkur and Larkana due to a lack of proper medical facilities and specialised doctors at the Civil Hospital Shikarpur. He added that many lives could have been saved had adequate facilities been made available at the hospital.

He maintained that many of the injured were shifted to the hospital in rickshaws and police mobiles as there was no ambulance available in the city. Usto further submitted that the medical facilities available were not enough to cater to the needs of around one million population of the city, and several posts for specialised doctors and other staff were lying vacant despite an annual budget allocation of Rs22.3 million.

The court was requested to direct the government to fill the positions and order an inquiry into why the posts of senior doctors and specialised surgeons at the hospital remained vacant.

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