Civil surgeon Surjit Singh has recommended the transfer of two doctors reportedly spotted drinking at a private room in the Hoshirapur Civil Hospital late on Wednesday night. The room had been labelled as reserved for VIPs. When journalists reached the spot on hearing of the doctors' adventures, they fled after locking the room.
The matter was also brought to the notice of state health minister Surjit Kumar Jyani, who was in town to lay the foundation stone of the state's first model rural health research unit (MRHRU) at the community health centre Bhunga, 25 km from here. Jyani has assured a probe into the incident.
'Not the first instance'
Sources at the hospital claimed that this particular room, on the first floor of the building, had been misused by the medical staff since long, but the authorities had never bothered to stop the practice. One of the doctors who was caught boozing in the room, has remained in the middle of several controversies and had been transferred twice previously, but has somehow managed to be posted in the hospital again.
The image of the civil hospital had taken a beating recently when the police arrested its cycle-stand contractor in possession of a narcotic substance.
There were reports that police had under-shown the recovery to save the hospital's image. Sources also added that finding doctors in drunk condition was not very uncommon.
'Doctors do private practice'
The majority of the doctors posted in the civil hospital indulge in private practice, some of whom are even known to work in their clinics during official government duty hours.
Even the civil surgeon is accused of dedicating more time to his own hospital than to his office, though he refutes the charges and claims that he leaves the station only in case of official meetings. There is no check on doctors prescribing costly medicines and unwanted clinical tests to patients.