With rampant absenteeism among doctors in the three State medical colleges and hospitals raising a stink, the State Government is set to launch a crackdown on not only the guilty doctors, but also the private hospitals and nursing homes which engage them during duty hours.
The State Health and Family Welfare department has decided to cancel licences and seal nursing homes and private hospitals that are found to employ Government doctors from the medical colleges or peripheral institutions during duty hours between 9 am and 5 pm. Proceedings will also be initiated against the doctors found to be absent from the hospital or departments for engagement in private practice or attending to cases in nursing homes and other hospitals.
The Government is poised to issue a notification in this connection within a fortnight even as it has started work on bringing amendment to the Odisha Clinical Establishment (Control and Regulation) Act, 1992 to deal with the problem.
The move comes in the wake of a covert evaluation of attendance of doctors across all positions in the three medical colleges by the Health department that brought into focus the gravity of the situation. A substantial chunk of senior-most doctors like Professors and heads of departments have been found guilty of being absent from their positions not only for long hours, but also for days together.
As many as 17 professors and HoDs at the SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack, were found to be absent for more than four hours during duty everyday. At MKCGMCH Berhampur and VSSMCH Burla, the absenteeism stretched to days with at least seven and six, respectively, absent from their posts for more than four days a week. Some were even found to be drawing salaries without even going to their medical college.
With the revelations raising serious concern, Health Secretary P K Mohapatra has taken up the matter with the principals and deans of the three medical colleges as well as the director of medical education and training.
He has sought a detailed report on the attendance of doctors in the institutions. The absenteeism continues despite implementation of the biometric attendance system.
The Government has already initiated severe action against doctors who have deserted their places of posting to work in private hospitals and medical colleges.
The process of dismissal of 34 doctors has been initiated with as many as 117 to follow suit.
17 professors and HoDs at the SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack, were found to be absent for more than four hours during duty everyday
At MKCGMCH Berhampur and VSSMCH Burla, the absenteeism stretched to days with at least seven and six respectively absent from their posts for more than four days a week
The absenteeism continues despite implementation of the biometric attendance system