Compelled by the acute shortage of doctors across the state Punjab health and family welfare minister, Satpal Gosain has decided to dismiss nearly 200 doctors who are currently on ex-India leave.
The health department will recruit 200 new medical officers in place of the aforesaid doctors.
The minister had convened a meeting on Tuesday here this afternoon to decide on the fate of the doctors who currently abroad however the outcome remained inconclusive. Principal secretary, health and family welfare, Satish Chandra and other senior officials of the department were also present in the meeting.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Gosain said he had already decided to charge sheet the 200 doctors and thereafter dismiss them from the service. “ Though in today’s meeting we could not reach to a definite conclusion but we will surely decide on their fate tomorrow for which I have already called for another meeting”, added Gosain.
Gosain said that the doctors in question have been abroad for several years and keep getting extensions on various pretexts. “ The department has sent them notices several times and asked them to join back on their respective duties but they have not responded positively so far. So at the end of the day I am left with no option but to take strict action against all of them”, added the minister.
Gosain said he had learnt that many of the doctors were practicing in violation of the Punjab service rules and were abroad only to augment their income.
He assured that after issuing the dismissal orders the department would immediately go for the fresh recruitment to appoint 200 new medical officers.
“ We have no option but to act tough. Many dispensaries especially those in the rural areas are wearing a deserted look for want of doctors and specialists. People have to travel long distances to avail the medical facilities”, said the Minister.
Gosain said besides the 200 fresh recruitments the department would also appoint 1250 medical officers from the homeopathy, dental and general categories.
He said the issue pertaining to the appointment of 1250 medical officers was to be taken up in the cabinet meeting scheduled for tomorrow but due to some reason it was no more on the agenda. “ But we will soon start the recruitment process at the department level”, added Gosain.