In one of the biggest transfer drives by the Punjab health department, more than 500 specialist doctors were transferred in the state on Tuesday.
According to sources in the department, the transfers have been ordered on the directions of Vini Mahajan, principal secretary, health. The transfer orders were issued by under-secretary Manmohan Singh.
According to the transfer lists, these doctors are specialists from almost all specialties and super-specialties. According to the orders, 523 doctors in all were transferred, which comes to around 50% of the specialists in the state. There are around 1,000 specialist doctors in the state.
In the specialty-wise break-up, the maximum doctors transferred -- 84 -- belonged to the gynaecology and obstetrics branch, followed by the general surgery with 76 doctors, and internal medicine with 63.
According to the orders, the mass transfer drive has been undertaken with a view to strengthening and upgrading 100 hospitals in the state. According to the plan, these hospitals will be taken to the next level of health care and will provide 24-hour specialised health care. Some of the transferred doctors will have to attend their new posting stations only for a few days a week.
Sources in the health department said transfers at such a large scale were earlier conducted in the late 1990s. The decision was strongly opposed by the PCMS Doctors' Association then and the health department had to cancel all transfer orders.
The decision is likely to face opposition as the Punjab PCMS Association, the doctors' largest association in the state, has called an emergency meeting in Ludhiana on Thursday.
Specialties with most transfers