Tardiness could prove costly for 62 doctors in Patna district.
The health department has decided to stop salaries of 62 doctors, who have been found late to work repeatedly in July and till August 16. The decision was taken after the attendance sheet of doctors from all 23 primary health centres (PHCs) in the district were monitored daily.
The order to stop salaries for the two months has not been issued yet. Sources said the order is likely to come in the next few days.
Dr Lakhendra Prasad, civil surgeon, Patna, said the department found that the 62 doctors had reached their hospitals after 8am — when the out patient department (OPD) starts — on several occasions.
Principal secretary of the health department Vyasji said the department has received the civil surgeon’s report and those found absent from work or reporting late, unauthorised, would be penalised according to the department’s norms. “While 17 of the doctors were found late to work in July, the rest are being penalised based on the attendance status from August 1 to 16. Most of the doctors whose salaries are being stopped are posted at the PHC in Paligunj. The final orders are yet to be issued,” he said.
This is the first time the health department has decided to penalise so many doctors in one district. In November last year, the department had decided to stop salaries of teachers at medical colleges who reported late for work or remained absent from duty without prior approval.
Letters were sent to civil surgeons of all the 38 districts and the officials were directed to send daily attendance sheet of doctors to the health department headquarters after 9.30am. The civil surgeons were also directed to maintain and send similar charts of doctors working at the health sub-centres, sub-divisional, district and referral hospitals.
A senior officer in the department said: “The decision (to stop salaries of the 62 doctors) was taken after visits to some of the PHCs revealed that the doctors are taking their work very casually, are irregular and are not reporting to duty on time. The state government is committed to provide the best possible service conditions and facilities within available resources but they have to deliver on the performance front. Doctors in medical colleges or at primary-level hospitals should not take their work casually and if they do so, they have to face action.”
He added: “The duty charts are being monitored daily and based on review every month, the salary of the doctors at fault are being stopped and show cause notices issued. Based on their replies, disciplinary action could be taken against them.”
Recently, the department also iterated that the duty roster of doctors should be put up on the information board at every district hospital, referral hospital, sub-divisional hospital, PHCs, additional PHCs and health sub-centres so that patients and their relatives are informed which doctor would be available.