Chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) (health) Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu has said she would continue conducting sting operations on government doctors despite Punjab health minister Madan Mohan Mittal's remarks that a CPS has no power to do so.
"The minister must show me the rules that I don't have the powers to check or send me in writing that I am not supposed to do it," Dr Sidhu said. "My aim is not to trouble the doctors, but expose those among them who take hefty salaries from the government and indulge in private practice."
Mittal and Dr Sidhu do not see eye to eye ever since she allegedly found Dr Surjit Singh, senior medical officer of the primary health centre at Bharatgarh in Rupnagar doing private practice.
"Only 5% of doctors indulge in private practice," Dr Sidhu said. "I want all doctors to be available to the patients in government hospitals and health centres. This (the sting) would only help the common man."
"It is the common man who complains," the CPS said. "These complaints go to the health department, minister and the CPS. I am just doing my job and reacting to the complaints that I am receiving."
On her powers as CPS, Dr Sidhu said: "I don't have to be an MLA or a CPS to conduct surprise checks. Even a citizen can check if a government employee is doing his duty or not."
When asked if differences between the health minister and herself were bringing a bad name to the party, Dr Sidhu said: "I am just doing my job. In the health department, I feel it is my right to check the wrongdoings. My idea is supported by 95% of the doctors."
"I even want doctors to get the posting of their choice so that they can perform better," she said.
Ever since she became CPS of the health department, Dr Sidhu has been conducting surprise checks. Apart from Dr Surjit Singh, she had earlier found another government doctor carrying out private practice.