CIAA concerned about stalled recruitment of health workers in far-western region

Dhangadi, August 5

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority has expressed its concerns about the stalled recruitment of health workers in the far-western region.

The anti-graft body today wrote to the health ministry asking it to explain why the recruitment process was halted.  Earlier, then health minister Ram Janam Chaudhary on May 12 had decided to stall contractual recruitment of health workers. The far-western regional health directorate had published the list of appointees that very day.

Even after making it through the selection process, health workers have yet to be appointed. As per the decision of the centre in March, the directorate had published vacancy for contract-based posts of 127 ausiliary nurse midwives, 140 health assistants, two radiographers, nine staff nurses, 70 AHWs and five lab assistants.

A committee led by Under Secretary at the Health Ministry, Jhapindra Jha, and Section Officer Chiranjivi Sapkota had been formed to look into possible irregularities in the selection process. “However, though the committee had submitted its report calling the selection process fair, the ministry stalled the recruitment process. This has put us in a dilemma,” said Far-western Regional Health Director Sushilnath Pyakurel.

He also expressed his concerns about increasing number of patients suffering from various seasonal and other diseases in the health facilities across the region.

Minister Chaudhary is said to have cancelled the recruitment process after the regional health director did not select the 83 persons that he had recommended.

“As I didn’t buckle under his pressure, I was recalled to the ministry,” said Pyakurel, adding, “Even if I wanted, I couldn’t appoint all the candidates recommended by Chaudhary as most of them were from the same district. The provision has it that the appointed health workers should be from the concerned district.”