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Give undertaking against moving court, Punjab govt tells rural medicos

Rural development department hopes that such undertakings will mean there can be no hitch in shifting doctors to the health department.

punjab Updated: Feb 15, 2018 10:13 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
undertaking against moving court,Punjab govt,rural medicos
Earlier, of a total of 765 doctors serving in the rural development department, only 129 had given consent to merge without seeking seniority in the health department. (HT File )

With the proposal to merge dispensaries run by the department of panchayat and rural development into the health department reaching a deadlock on seniority of doctors, the rural development department has asked the interested doctors to give an undertaking against moving court in future over the issue.

In a letter (February 2) to additional deputy commissioners (ADCs, development), the panchayati raj and rural development deputy director (headquarters) has directed them get undertakings of doctors who are willing to merge their services into the health department.

“Those who are willing to join health services with condition that they will be given seniority in the new department from the day of their merger should send their consent to the ADCs (D) office in the respective districts. They also have to fill a form giving undertaking that once they are merged with the health department, they will not move court in near future seeking changes in seniority,” the circular reads.

“I will have only financial benefits from the rural development department and will never opt for litigation on the issue of seniority once my services are merged with the health department,” reads the pro forma the doctors will have to sign while giving their consent for the merger. A separate pro forma is attached with the letters sent to the ADCs (D).

“Making rural medical officers lose seniority in the name of merger is against justice. Our dept didn’t wait for chief secretary’s report on the issue of seniority and has started adopting pressure tactics.”— Dr Aslum Parvez, Rural Medical Services Association

A senior health department official said the decision to get direct an undertaking from doctors was taken after some delegations of rural medicos met health minister Brahm Mohindra that they were ready to merge with the health department as the government wanted.

Earlier, the proposal of “dying cadre” was also mooted in the meeting of both the departments that was chaired by the chief secretary. The ‘dying cadre’ means once the doctors in the rural medical cadre join the health department, a separate cadre will be created and no further recruitment will be made in it and it will cease to exist once all doctors retire.

The idea of merger was mooted by health minister Mohindra to tackle shortage of doctors in his department.

After the rural development department gave its go-ahead, the plan got stuck as doctors in rural dispensaries demanded seniority in the Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) cadre from the date of their original joining. The health department wanted these rural medicos to join as juniors to PCMS doctors.

On the undertaking sought by the rural development department, Rural Medical Services Association state president Dr Aslum Parvez termed it pressure tactics.

“Making rural medical officers lose seniority in the name of transfer to the health department is against the law of justice. Our department has not even waited for the report of the chief secretary on the issue of seniority that will be given to rural medical officers and it has already started adopting pressure tactics,” he said.

Earlier, of a total of 765 doctors serving in the rural development department, only 129 had given consent to merge without seeking seniority in the health department.

First Published: Feb 15, 2018 10:12 IST