Allahabad: Ruling that the state government cannot reject the Voluntary Retirement of Doctors on solely on the ground of there is a scarcity of doctors in the state, the Allahabad High court was seen making sharp remarks to the government asking it to improve the conditions for doctors in the state.
The observations were made in response to the petition filed by certain doctors of the Provincial Medical Services (PMS) who were seeking voluntary retirement but same were rejected by the State Government solely on the ground that there is scarcity of doctors in the State of Uttar Pradesh. In case of some doctors, no response was given at all by the government with their applications still pending.
Responding to the petition, the hon’ble HC clearly stated that their cases for voluntary retirement cannot be withheld or refused unless disciplinary proceeding is pending against a government servant or contemplated against the aforesaid employee and that too when the aforesaid contemplation or pendency of the disciplinary proceeding has been communicated to the employee, within three months of the application
With the backdrop of the case seen making sharp remarks on the functioning of the healthcare system that has left to acute shortage of doctors
Instead of blame-game, the authorities who are responsible for monitoring the health system in the State must minutely and sincerely examine the issues as to how the working of the government hospitals can be improved for the betterment of the general public and why doctors are opting for voluntary retirement every day. One must not forget that every one is keenly interested in government job and a candidate has to clear tough competitive examination to enter into government service but on the other hand the doctors are not interested in joining the government service and even it has come to the knowledge that pots of Medical Officers are not being filled on account of nonavailability of candidates
The court censured the state government asking it to come up with policies for retaining doctors rather than forcing them not to leave.
Of course, the State Government cannot stop doctors from going outside for work and studies, but the State government can certainly provide doctors with good opportunities to retain them. The authorities must strengthen the present system with better housing facilities, revamping recruitment policies to fill vacant positions in government and civic hospitals – all of which will help to retain the talent.
….the doctors ought to be given an opportunity to participate in the CMEs [Continuing Medical Education], conferences and seminars to exchange the latest views/ opinions/ knowledge and advancement in the Medical field. In order to facilitate these mechanism as well as boost the morale of the doctors to exchange their views/ opinion/ knowledge including advancement in the Medical field, the authorities of the State can make a policy like such doctors, who attends CMEs/ Seminars/ Conferences by submitting papers, would be awarded points, which may be considered at the time of his/her promotion and preference would be given to such doctors in promotion.
The HC also took note of doctors being posted in administrative capacity, keeping them away from their clinical posts
On one hand, we have a shortage of doctors and on the other hand, doctors are being posted in administrative capacity only, thereby, compounding upon the shortage of medical specialists. The moment a medical specialist is posted in a managerial/ administrative post, the needy are deprived of specialist treatment and it involves wastage of a specialized talent.
The court then went on to comment on the Need of qualified hospital administrators to manage government hospitals
With the specialized field of Hospital Administration to address the administration/ management, issues of medical facilities, such doctors, who are specialized in Hospital Administration can be appointed to cater day to day management of hospital. However, whenever, further specialized view is required, specialists may be included in relevant committees. Also, appropriate changes in cadre structure can be made so as not to affect promotional avenues.
The court also stressed on the need of efficiency in management of government hospitals
Efficiency should become the keyword in all activities involved in running hospitals so as to avoid the frustrations of medical staff with inadequate infrastructure, non-working equipment and unsafe working environment. An efficient and committed administration working closely with dedicated staff can make public hospitals excellent centres of health care. Those with talent and dedication will stay while those interested in making more money will leave at the cost of job satisfaction.
In order to enhance the better medical facilities to the poor and needy people, it would be appropriate to maintain balance between specialized senior and junior doctors in each PHCs in rural and urban areas.
We hope and trust that the State Government will sincerely address the issues and will come out with a concrete health policy in larger interest of the general public, the court added