The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Busy’ doctors face transfer

Calcutta, Jan. 27: The government has drawn up a list of 2,000 doctors who will be transferred next month.

The move is part of attempts to reform the health sector and shake up doctors who are carrying on with private practice neglecting patients in government hospitals.

A senior health department official said a section of the doctors working in the same hospital for 10 years or more has been found to be continuing with flourishing practice in private, ignoring their real responsibility.

“As a result, the patients he is supposed to take care of are neglected. There are many doctors who don’t attend hospitals for days but we have information that some of them attend to complicated cases in nursing homes,” said an official.

Director of health services Prabhakar Chatterjee said the transfers are aimed at uprooting these doctors from their “fiefs” for better care and treatment of the patients.

To rein in the practising doctors, the department had earlier issued strictures barring them from accepting posts of resident medical officers in nursing homes and practising beyond an 8-km radius from the hospital of posting.

Health authorities had also asked the practising doctors to leave the addresses of their chambers and phone numbers with the hospital superintendents so that they could be contacted in case of emergencies.

“But still we see negligence towards patients and a general defiance. This, we want to remove,” said an official.

He added that some doctors are often absent from hospitals for days without offering any explanation. “We know about a particular doctor who had reported sick and was absent from a district hospital but was in Calcutta, treating a complicated case in a nursing home.”

Along with the doctors, the government has also decided to transfer nearly 4,000 group-D employees — about 200 of them from the hospitals in Calcutta.

Officials said the move is aimed at shifting a section of the highly politicised group-D employees who do not work and prevent the administrations from running the hospitals smoothly. Nurses working in a particular hospital for 10 years or more will also be transferred.

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