State Health Minister Ramchandra Chandravanshi of Jharkhand has terminated doctors in primary healthcare centres over the issue of their prolonged absenteeism. The nine doctors have been reportedly sacked were appointed in nine primary health centres Bokaro, Dhanbad, Dumka, Godda, Palamu, Chaibasa and Giridih districts in Ranchi in 2012.
The order has now been issued by the state government, after the health department studied the local health records. These records further highlighted that these doctors have been absent from duty after being appointed by the Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC) in early 2012.
The development is not first of its kind as in October this year; another five doctors were removed for dealing with the same problem. Separate orders were issued earlier too by the health department to grapple with the situation of around 15 doctors suspended for missing from their posts during duty hours.
The issue remains a major challenge for the state health department as it had already appointed district civil surgeons as nodal officers to monitor the issue of absenteeism of doctors. Still this incident happened for long in the state, and has adversely affected the public healthcare service.
Even the implementation of biometric attendance system has not been effective as most of the machines remain uninstalled; due to poor internet connection. The department had reportedly resolved to block salaries of doctors on unsanctioned leaves in November.
“We have been against unauthorized absenteeism. The doctors have not responded despite repeated attempts to contact them,” Chandravanshi said on Sunday, adding that stern action was required to “get the message across to them.”, as reported by TOI.
Explaining the problem further, a senior health officer said, “A number of doctors have migrated to other states for better income. This is one of the major reasons why unauthorized absenteeism persists.” According to the national health profile, Jharkhand has 1,956 doctors in more than 3,500 health centres and has a poor doctor patient ratio of 1:19785.