Dr Himani Lade, ear-nose-throat consultant, Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), stationed at Safdarjung Hospital, has been on leave almost throughout January.
Since CGHS did not arrange a substitute, Safdarjung Hospital asked senior residents — junior doctors practising at the hospital — to fill in for her.
Last November, when senior CGHS consultant Dr Kadambari Batra resigned from the same department, residents were asked to do OPD duties at the CGHS clinic.
Under government rules, senior residents should not manage CGHS clinics or sign slips for medicine procurement for CGHS beneficiaries. “It is an illegal practice. These clinics should be independently managed by CGHS consultants,” said a senior administrative official from Safdarjung hospital, requesting anonymity.
“Senior residents are not allowed to sign slips authorising CGHS patients to take free medicines, but we have no choice but to play proxy for absentee doctors,” said a senior resident from the department of ophthalmology, who did not want to be named.
The situation is the same across gynaecology, ophthalmology and ENT departments.
“Saying no would be taking the administration head on, which we can’t do. We have given several petitions to the administration to look into the matter, but to no avail,” said a doctor from the department of gynaecology.
CGHS officials denied having any knowledge of the matter. “We will internally inquire and take remedial measures if needed,” said a CGHS official.
“I recently took over as MS. I will look into the matter and take appropriate steps,” said Dr BD Athani, medical superintendent, Safdarjung Hospital, who joined office on January 2.
“Senior residents are already overburdened. They have regular duties in wards, emergency duties; they manage patients, take classes and are also incharge of maintaining pre-operative files for doctors,” said Dr Harsh Anand, president, resident doctors association, Safdarjung Hospital.