CUTTACK: Appointment of an OAS officer as the Director of Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre (AHRCC) has come under judicial scrutiny with the Orissa High Court issuing notice to the State Government over violation of rules and statutory guidelines.
Acting on a petition filed by one Shiv Charan Ghose, a division bench comprising Justice I Mohanty and Justice B Ratha directed the State Health Secretary, Director, Health and Director, AHRCC to file their responses within March 23, which has been fixed as the next date of hearing.
The petitioner had alleged that the Health and Family Welfare department’s decision to appoint OAS officer and additional MD, NHM Saroj Kumar Samal as the head of AHRCC, the only Government-run cancer hospital of Odisha, was in violation of every laid law including that of the Medical Council of India (MCI) and bye-laws of AHRCC itself.
Ghose submitted that MCI guidelines on appointment of heads of medical institutions have clearly stipulated that these can be held only by a senior professor with considerable experience in the field of cancer treatment. Both the MCI and the AHRCC bye-laws have categorically stated that the condition remained the same even in the case of temporary appointment to the post as in-charge.
However, the Health Department has blatantly flouted all the rules to impose a non-medical person as the head of such a specialised health institution as AHRCC, which is the sole refuge for thousands of poor patients of the State.
Terming the appointment as illegal and arbitrary, the petitioner has appealed to the court to quash the Government order and post a senior professor as the head immediately.