As per the Vaidya Vidhana Parishad Act, the body’s commissioner must have a medical background as it oversees all state government-run hospitals and clinics.

Doctors seek medical professional as Commissioner for Telangana state medical bodyImage for representation
Health Health Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 17:19

Several doctors and members of the Healthcare Reforms Doctors Association (HRDA) in Telangana have written to the Principal Secretary, Health, Medical & Family Welfare, Shanti Kumari, seeking appointment of a commissioner with a medical background for the Telangana Vaidya Vidhana Parishad (TVVP).

The TVVP was established in June 2014 following the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into two states, under the Department of Health, Medical & Family Welfare. The organisation manages all secondary level government-run hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state, including public healthcare centres.

In late 2018, upon the retirement of the then commissioner Dr B Siva Prasad, the government had appointed IAS officer Manicka Raj to the post. However, noting that only a person with medical background is eligible for the post, the HRDA approached the Telangana High Court. The court ordered a commissioner with medical academic background to be appointed within 2 weeks. However, it has been more than 8 weeks now and a new TVVP head is yet to be appointed.

“The court had issued the order on February 21 for a new commissioner to be appointed, but no one has been appointed yet,” states Dr Mahesh Kumar, HRDA president. “Around November or December last year, a new commissioner was appointed, but he is an IAS officer and the protocol deems that a medical professional be the TVVP commissioner. So we had approached the court which ordered for someone else to be appointed.”

“All district hospitals, area hospitals, community health centres come under the watch of the TVVP. It is vital that the commissioner of the TVVP be someone with a medical background,” added Dr Mahesh.

As per earlier reports, the petitioner’s counsel, Sandeep Reddy, had argued that the government had appointed an IAS officer to the position instead of a medical doctor in contradiction of the rules. Conceding this, Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili had stated that under Section 33(a) of the Vaidya Vidhana Parishad Act, the post had to be held by a doctor and had ordered a commissioner with medical background to be appointed within 2 weeks.