Doctors selected for Haj duty from the state have come down to 7 from 20 last year
This time, the Ministry of Minority Affairs has deputed only seven doctors, including around three men and four women, from Maharashtra.
Nagpur: An office-bearer of the Maharashtra Haj Committee and several public health doctors have alleged injustice in the deputation of medical professionals from the state to Saudi Arabia for Haj 2023.
This time, the Ministry of Minority Affairs has deputed only seven doctors, including around three men and four women, from Maharashtra. And apart from them, around five paramedics including four men and one woman have been shortlisted by the central government from Maharashtra. In the past, the total number of medical professional circles used to be more than 25.
Last year itself, a total of 20 doctors were deputed as Maharashtra is a very large state and the number of pilgrims going for Haj is also huge.
Asif Khan, a member of the state Haj committee, said, “This is injustice to Maharashtra.” Khan has written to Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis seeking higher deputation of medical professionals.
The same move has taken the medical professionals completely by surprise. Because the smaller states, which send even fewer pilgrims, have got the bulk of the medical professional deputation. For example, 108 medical professionals have been deputed from Jammu and Kashmir while 99 are from Kerala. Apart from Maharashtra, bigger states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have got deputation under 10.
Ahead of preparations for Haj 2023, the MoHFW had asked large States/UTs to nominate 10 to 20 male and female doctors (Muslims), including several dentists. According to its letter, preference was to be given to those people who had not gone on duty at all in the past.
Everyone knows that communication is a big problem in a foreign land
About two lakh pilgrims from India are about to go on the holy Haj pilgrimage. A part of the pilgrims are from Maharashtra and Gujarat only. Mass congregations require medical check-ups, vaccination of pilgrims and constant monitoring throughout the pilgrimage.
A total of 343 (Muslim) medical professionals were required, including doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, ECG technicians, X-ray technicians, lab technicians, dental assistants/hygienists. These professionals will be deployed in three hospitals, 15-17 small dispensaries, medical emergency camps at Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah airport, Mina and the main shrine of Arafat.
A public health official said the state health minister Tanaji Sawant had the names of four medical officers and two pharmacists. “All these names were dropped and new names were seen when the final list came out. It is not clear how this list was finalized. Everyone knows that communication is a big problem in a foreign land. Pilgrims are from low economic backgrounds. Doctors should know their native language,” officials said.
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