Two senior doctors and 14 other employees of the district health department here were found absent during a surprise checking conducted by Patiala deputy commissioner Varun Roojam on Wednesday morning.
Accompanied by Patiala's sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Gurpal Singh Chahal, Roojam reached the civil surgeon's office at 9 am sharp and examined the attendance register.
Civil Surgeon (CS) HS Bali and assistant CS Purshotam Goyal were present in their offices at time of the raid.
As per the attendance register, two doctors -- Dr Narinder Kaur and Dr Gurmanjit Kaur -- were found absent, along with their 14 other colleagues namely Virsa Singh, Jashandeep Singh, Amarjit, Sohan Lal, Yuvinder Sharma, Anil Kumar, Aditi Gupta, Harish Kumar, Lavlinder Singh, Nayab Singh, Maninder Kaur, Kuldip Singh, Gurjit Singh, Rajkumar and Gurdeep Singh.
"Strict disciplinary action will be initiated against latecomers", Roojam said.
He directed the employees to provide timely services to people under the 'Right to Service Act' and these services should be delivered in a timely manner.
Roojam also visited the department's medical branch and inspected the birth-death certificate branch.
"The instructions have been passed for timely disposal of applications so that people do not face any inconvenience", he said.
ABSENTEE OFFICER MARKS ATTENDANCE
Meanwhile, food safety officer Aditi Gupta, who was found absent from duty during the inspection, marked her attendance soon after the deputy commissioner left the civil surgeon's office premises. A copy of the attendance register for Wednesday was procured by Hindustan Times.
Gupta was among the list of absentees released by the public relations office. When civil Surgeon HS Bali was asked about the officer marking her attendance, he said Aditi was found absent and her marking attendance in the register will be of no relevance.
"I will go through the records and if she had marked her attendance, the same will be informed to the deputy commissioner and strict action will be recommended against her", he said.
DC Varun Roojam said he was not aware of the absentee officer's act of marking attendance later. However, he added that a report pertaining to Wednesday's inspection and the relevant record will be sent to the chief secretary and the principal secretary, health, for stringent action.