Suspecting irregularities in the house rent allowance (HRA) claims of doctors and the paramedical workers in the district, the civil surgeon has asked all senior medical officers (SMOs) to collect self-declaration with proof from the employees accepting this perk.
The employees, including pharmacists and general nursing midwives (GNM), are paid the HRA subject to condition that they have to live within 3 kilometers of the place of posting. They get 10% of the HRA from the government and 15% of the basic pay for staying within 3 kilometers of the district hospital to be available during emergency.
The CMO's notice has made the doctors and other employees claiming the HRA worried, as the submission of proof, which includes producing the rent deed, will be difficult for them. Almost all regular employees, including doctors, claim the HRA on false ground, as they live in other districts, sources in the health department have said.
In many cases, couple doctors claim double the HRA in spite of sharing the quarters or living outside the district. In the self-declaration, they will have to also specify the date from which they have started claiming the HRA.
Civil Surgeon Dr BS Sahota has confirmed the report. "Indeed, I issued the letter, as it came to my knowledge that some doctors and paramedical workers claimed the HRA on false grounds," he said. "The self-declaration will help us sort them out. Patients suffer when doctors and other hospital workers are unavailable in emergency. Moreover, the state exchequer will be benefit if any fine is recovered from the culprits."