The state health department has issued termination notices to 147 doctors who have not been reporting to work for rural health services. According to the state health officials, majority of the doctors are ‘absconding’ from work for a period ranging from a year to 15 years.
Last month, the state had issued notices to about 227 doctors working as medical officers, medical superintendents, civil surgeons, deputy health officers in primary health centres (PHC) and district hospitals to join duty with immediate effect.
“After we issued the notices, about 80 doctors joined duty and the remaining are yet to show up,” said a state health official requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to talk to the media.
The official added that because the doctors failed to report at the centres, no work was getting done though the posts are filled.
“In the past, we had doctors who, after securing a government job, started private practice. After their practice was established, they would come with a VIP recommendation to get a government posting close to their private practice to enjoy the pension and other such related benefits. We don’t want such practices,” said Suresh Shetty, state health minister.
In a bid to strengthen the rural health set up, the state health department has been trying to fill up the vacancies in PHCs, cottage hospitals and district hospitals in the state for the past two years.
In June 2010, the state health department had dismissed about 450 odd posts of doctors from the 14 state-run medical college-cum-hospitals and sent these doctors to serve in public health facilities in rural areas. Even after taking such measures to fill up vacancies in rural health services, out of the 8623 positing, 1,723 posts are still vacant.