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Marching orders ahead for 200

Driven by complaints of defiance, insubordination and non-cooperation, the government has drawn up an elaborate plan to transfer over 200 group-D employees in city hospitals within a fortnight.

Group-D employees were so long outside the purview of transfer and this is the first time such a step has been taken. These employees constitute formidable pressure groups, often running their own empires on the hospital premises, say health officials.

Director of health services Prabhakar Chatterjee said at Writers’ Buildings on Wednesday that the government was forced to take this step to restore discipline in hospitals and it was part of health sector reforms.

“We have been receiving complaints about group-D employees in city hospitals for a long time. A section of them doesn’t work, creates trouble and instigates others not to co-operate with the hospital administration. So, we decided to identify and transfer those who have turned the hospitals into their domains,” he added.

Health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra spoke to a large number of doctors over the past few months and received a long list of complaints on how a section of group-D staff disrupts smooth running of hospitals. Steps were taken over the last couple of months to single out the group-D staff with a history of insubordination and non-cooperation, and it was decided to transfer them.

“By these transfers, we will be able to destroy their fiefdom inside government hospitals. Once transferred, they will have to uproot themselves from their respective groups and associations, which means less trouble for the administration,” said Chatterjee.

The government has also drawn up a transfer list of doctors, nurses, storekeepers and paramedical staff working in a particular hospital in the city or elsewhere in Bengal for more than 10 years. A private company has been engaged to prepare a computerised data bank on all these staff. The transfer of nurses from city hospitals to the districts will begin a month later.

Chatterjee said doctors who have served in various Calcutta hospitals for over 10 years, will now have to go to the district hospitals. But those who were earlier posted for several years in the districts and were now in a city hospital for 10 years, will not be shifted at the moment. “We will not disturb them right now,” the director of health services said.

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