The West Bengal government has decided to do away with the age-old post of Resident Medical Officer (RMO) and instead start appointing doctors as assistant professors, a senior official said on Tuesday.
Recruitment to such posts would be done through the West Bengal Medical Education Services, he said, adding that the post of RMO cum 'Clinical Tutor' or 'Demonstrator' would be made obsolete, he told PTI.
But the doctors who are currently RMOs would continue serving in the post, he said.
"We have decided to do away with the post of RMO. But those who are currently in the post will continue to serve as such. We will further not recruit any doctor as RMO."
"In case those continuing as RMO possess the required qualification, they will be promoted. For the existing RMOs, there will be no change in the service rules," the official of the state health department said.
The state government, however, has given one condition for recruitment to the newly created post of assistant professor, he said.
"A Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Master of Surgery (MS) will have to serve at least one year as a senior resident (SR) to fulfill the criteria and become eligible to sit for the recruitment process," he said.
In the National Medical Commission (NMC), the RMO post is non-existent and instead, there are two posts - teachers or faculty and resident doctors.
Resident doctors are categorised into senior residents (SRs) and junior residents (JRs).
To date in West Bengal, SR posts were under 'bond services' for a period of three years and in case the bond was flouted, the doctor concerned had to pay the state an amount of Rs 10 lakh.
Hiralal Konar, a senior doctor, said, "This was overdue as the NMC had done away with the post of RMO long back. This post does not exist anywhere else in the country. But it is not yet clear whether the state will appoint an equal number of assistant professors in place of the RMOs."
The state, however, is yet to decide on the other eligibility criterion for the recruitment of assistant professors.
"We are working on it and once it is decided, we will issue a notification detailing the criterion on the eligibility for the post," the official said.