The Haryana government has asked the health department to complete nearly 150 inquiries on war footing pertaining to serious complaints against doctors pending for the past about one to three years.
The complaints are disciplinary matters that mainly include negligence at work or absence from duty.
Senior officials said the department authorities wanted to send a message to the cadre that a quick inquiry would ensure punishment to the defaulters and decimate the suffering of the ones implicated falsely. They said there had been instances where a few doctors were learnt to have been delaying the inquiry with the help of politicians or department staff.
Officials, who did not wish to be named, said most of the accused doctors were being chargesheeted under rule 7 of the Haryana Civil Service (Punishment and Appeal) Rules, 1987, on major counts.
Though the department has engaged nearly 10 retired Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officers, Haryana Civil Services (HCS) officers and judicial officers to expedite the investigation on a monthly honorarium of `6,000, the output is not encouraging because of the quantum of work.
The government, on the other hand, has decided to take a tough stand in view of compounding litigations as well as governance being seen in poor light. Thus the department has constituted a special cell of operational staff that has been working on gazetted holidays, besides on Saturday and Sunday, for the past about two months. The cell hopes to clear all 150 cases in five months.
About half of the accused doctors have not been working for the past several months and thus required to be removed, if found guilty, a senior functionary told HT. "They are 300-odd vacancies in the department. Add to this, the accused doctors who have not been relieved are not coming to work. In this scenario, no one but patients suffer," he said.