With a large number of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers (HCW) kept in quarantine and isolation after completing the fixed days of duty at COVID units in government hospitals, the State government has roped in human resource agencies to recruit medical officers, lab technicians and multipurpose health workers on contract basis to meet the demand.
Doctors who have a minimum qualification of MBBS degree are being recruited for COVID-19 duty at government hospitals by private agencies. They are offered fixed contract for three to six months, with the promise of an attractive salary.
The move to recruit staff on contract basis, and to outsource the recruitment, has not gone down well with government doctors and associations representing them.
“The services of the doctors who are appointed on a contract basis through outsourcing agencies will be terminated once the requirements are met. The outsourcing agencies will get the commission from the salaries of the doctors. The risk and hard work put in by the doctors would benefit these money-making agencies. Such appointments can instead be done through Medical Recruitment Board,” said Dr G Ravindranath, secretary of Doctors Association of Social Equality (DASE).
While government doctors say there is a provision to hire doctors during emergency situations like this battle against the pandemic, what has angered many of them is the move to outsource the work to outside agencies.
According to a senior official from Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH), these doctors who are appointed on contract basis would never be in a position to question the authorities over issues like poor quality personal protective equipment, inadequate quarantine facilities and other important matters.