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Alleged absence from COVID duty: BHSA expresses solidarity with 65 doctors facing heat
Patna: Government doctors under the umbrella of Bihar Health Services Association (BHSA) has come forward in support of 65 medical officers, in-charge of primary and community health centres who have been facing heat over their alleged absence from duty during the Covid-19 vaccination mega camp in the state on October 18.The Association has cautioned the state health department for taking...
Patna: Government doctors under the umbrella of Bihar Health Services Association (BHSA) has come forward in support of 65 medical officers, in-charge of primary and community health centres who have been facing heat over their alleged absence from duty during the Covid-19 vaccination mega camp in the state on October 18.
The Association has cautioned the state health department for taking action against the doctors.
According to the order issued on November 16, the state health department decided to withhold one annual increment of the 65 doctors who were allegedly absent from the place of posting on the day of the mega vaccination camp. The health officials added that the absence of the duty doctors resulted in a poor vaccination coverage in their respective areas on that day.
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They added that the absent doctors failed to respond to the show-cause notices which were issued by the health department for the doctors to explain their absence, within the given time period of 48 hours.
The doctors, however, claimed that they did not get any show-cause notice from the health department, and added that they were unaware about the mechanism adopted by the department to check their attendance at their respective work areas during the vaccination camp.
BHSA officiating general secretary Dr Ranjit Kumar told Hindustan Times, "Many doctors have told us that they never received the government's show-cause notice. Civil surgeons in some districts like Saran are getting examined the issue of show-cause notice to doctors. Some doctors have told us that they present at their workplace and had yet been marked absent. Others have said they were on field duty for a brief time. We have asked doctors, who feel they have been wrongly faulted, to write to us so that we take up their case with the additional chief secretary and request him not to penalise the doctors."
He added, "The government should conduct a full-fledged inquiry before initiating action against doctors. Our patience should not be misconstrued as our weakness. The government must not forget the diligent work doctors have done during the peak of the pandemic."
Expressing displeasure towards the attitude shown towards the doctors, Dr Kumar further stated, "It is the doctors who work their hearts out and are at the forefront of fighting the pandemic, but are relegated to the background when it comes to giving credit for the good work done either in controlling the pandemic or increasing the vaccination coverage."
Dr Abbas Hasrat, a member of the BHSA said that a section of doctors are contemplating whether to meet Bihar's additional chief secretary, health, so as to request him to not take any coercive action against the doctors.
Speaking on their future course of action, Dr Rohit Kumar, a BHSA member posted at Saran told the daily, "We may give the government one week time to reconsider its decision and will convene another meeting on November 28 to decide our future course of action."
Some of the doctors against whom actions have been initiated by the state health department includes ten from Katihar district, five from Madhubani, four each from Purnia, Samastipur, Bhojpur and Begusarai, three each from Darbhanga, Madhepura, Munger, two each from Patna, Jamui, Gopalganj, Kishanganj, Supaul, Saran, Nalanda and one each from Banka, Araria, Nawada, Sitamarhi, Vaishali, Aurangabad, Bhagalpur, Rohtas, Khagaria, East Champaran and Buxar districts.
Around 75.61 million vaccination doses had been administered in Bihar till Monday afternoon, with around 52.65 million people administered with the first dose and 22.96 million administered with both the shots.
Also Read: Bihar: Hospital superintendent sacked over gross negligence at Covid-19 ward
Revu is currently pursuing her masters from University of Hyderabad. With a background in journalism, she joined Medical Dialogues in 2021.