Over 100 doctors who reneged on bond to join duties
“Over 213 had not joined work while another 218 of them joined but had been reported ‘missing’ from their duties thereafter. Ever since notices were issued to them, around 100 of them have shown willingness to join work while another 100 have sought time to get relieved (from their current jobs) and report back to work,” director medical education Dr Ashutosh Sayana tells Hindustan Times.Updated: Jan 03, 2018 21:03 IST
DEHRADUN: More than 100 doctors are likely to join work after the government sent them notices to initiate cost proceedings for not keeping their commitment to serve at least two years in hilly areas of the state
The Uttarakhand government offers MBBS courses at subsidized rates in state-run medical colleges to those students who sign a bond that mandates them to serve in the hills after completing their course.
But a scrutiny by the medical education department last year found only 244 of over 783 medical graduates from Haldwani and Srinagar medical colleges - who had signed the bond over the years - were serving duties. In December, the medical education department served notices to over 400 doctors, who had either not joined duties or had been ‘missing’ from their postings. They were given a deadline of December 31 to respond, failing which they were warned of legal action.
“Over 213 had not joined work while another 218 of them joined but had been reported ‘missing’ from their duties thereafter. Ever since notices were issued to them, around 100 of them have shown willingness to join work while another 100 have sought time to get relieved (from their current jobs) and report back to work,” director medical education Dr Ashutosh Sayana told Hindustan Times.
About 10 doctors are willing to pay the bond amount while others are yet to respond. “Recovery notices (against the bond amount) will now be sent to the doctors who have not responded so far, following which legal action will be taken against them as well as their guarantors,” Sayana said.
A source in the health department, meanwhile, said that the health department has given a fortnight’s time to the doctors who wish to join work. “Some doctors have even requested for change of their posting location but unlikely to get relief,” a health department official told HT.
With over 50% shortage of doctors, health services in Uttarakhand are in a poor shape especially in the remote mountainous areas. The state has around 1,100 doctors on board against the sanctioned posts of 2,700.
The government is trying out various measures to bring back the medical infrastructure to a proper shape. The health department came up with a plan to make senior health officials take up additional responsibility of medical service providers. Despite the state battling debts to the tune of around R 40,000 crore, the government hiked the proposed salary package for retired army doctors by up to 50% for serving in the state.
First Published: Jan 03, 2018 21:03 IST