The health department has initiated a drive to identify the IGIMS doctors indulging in private practice.
According to the norm, doctors of Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) cannot go for private practice like their counterparts at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, because they are entitled to a non-practising allowance.
“We have started an investigation into the case. According to rules, they (IGIMS doctors) cannot go for private practice. Everything related to private practice is clearly mentioned in the terms and conditions of IGIMS. We have information that many IGIMS doctors are violating the norm and going for private practice,” health department principal secretary Deepak Kumar said on Thursday.
On the consequences an IGIMS doctor would have to face if he/she is found practising, he said the department would consider his/her suspension. Sources said the department has prepared a list of around 80 physicians out of around 180 of the hospital, who are suspected of indulging in private practice.
One of the IGIMS doctors, however, said the department cannot terminate or suspend the erring doctors because it does not have the right. “Only the board of governors of the IGIMS has the right to terminate or suspend a doctor. The (health) department, on its own, can’t take any stand,” said the IGIMS doctor.
But he added: “The department can initiate action against the erring doctors indirectly because Sanjay Kumar (secretary, health) is the member secretary of the board of governors, while the acting chairman, A.K. Chouhan, an IAS officer, who has been recently given the responsibility, and happens to be one of the members of the body of governors, can initiate action against the erring doctors by putting up a proposal in the board of governors’ meeting. If the decision gets a nod from the governors, it would have to be implemented.”
The doctor said the government should have cracked the whip long ago. “Doctors at IGIMS get around Rs 25,000 to Rs 35,000 non-practising allowance in addition to their monthly salary which varies between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.4 lakh depending on seniority. Around 25 per cent of the total number of doctors at IGIMS goes for private practice. Everybody knows it is against the law but no action has been taken so far regarding the issue,” he said.