Muhammad Mukaram

SRINAGAR: In a glaring example of nepotism in the Health Department in Kashmir, former Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman has posted several “blue eyed” dental surgeons, who were appointed though contractual process, at their choicest places, leaving others to serve in far-flung areas.

The cases in point are Dr Mohd Ijtiba Shafi Bhat and Dr Tafseer Rashid. Both the appointees are from the same batch vide same advertisement. However, Dr Tafseer Rashid is serving in a far-off Ladakh district, 450 Km from Srinagar, for past nine and a half years, while as Dr Ijtiba Shafi enjoys a coveted posting at directorate office.
Dr Shafi was appointed for school health Ganderbal and he went there after his appointment for few months but later was posted by former Director Health Services Kashmir Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman in his own office for his PR.
Dr Tafseer, posted in Leh continues to serve there, the reason being that he has neither political affiliation nor wields a strong influence.
On December 27, 2007 the General Administration Department (GAD) has advertised 320 dental surgeons’ posts across the Jammu and Kashmir in health department on contractual basis.
Pertinently, Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman has attached Dr Ijtiba Shafi in Directorate Office Kashmir during the contractual period which is itself a gross violation of recruitment rule.
Dr Shafi is enjoying his choicest posting at directorate office despite being a dental surgeon for the last eight years due to patronage of former director health services Kashmir. He is also holding several charges in the Directorate office under the “Ashirwad” of senior officers.
Dr Shafi being a dentist has been also assigned a job of trainer at Kashmir Skill and Simulation Lab at Dobiwan the fact is that he is not eligible for the aforesaid post. As per norms the trainer should be from the faculty who are working in emergency rooms, causality, trauma sections or ICUs .
It clearly shows that the doctors who have political, bureaucratic influence or ‘Ashirwad’ of Directors enjoy the privilege to work at choicest place but those not part of the coterie or influence are punished like Dr Rashid, otherwise dental surgeons job is to work at any hospital or PHC but not to do clerical job in the administration.
In the state of Jammu and Kashmir, it has been seen that the absence of accountability encourages a culture of coterie, which, in turn, results lack of transfer policy and violation of norms and procedures.
Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Kunzes Dolma while talking to STATE TIMES said that, “Dr Ijitiba Shafi is working in directorate office for last several years. I can’t transfer him as I will not go against the system.”
However, Principal Secretary, Health and Medical Education, Dr Atal Dulloo said that, “I will look into it.”

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