The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dock-pay plan to push transfers

Suri, Oct. 22: Doctors working at the Suri Sadar and Rampurhat hospitals for more than 10 years may be denied pay packets if they refuse to accept transfer orders.

Birbhum district magistrate Barun Roy gave the dock-salary proposal to health secretary Asim Barman at a meeting here yesterday. Barman is believed to have taken a serious view of the doctors’ unwillingness to accept transfer orders.

“Doctors will have to accept transfer orders as per government rules. Otherwise, payment of their salaries may be held up,” Barman said in Calcutta this evening, arguing that doctors working in a district hospital for a long time have to be transferred to make room for freshers.

Earlier in the day, Roy and Burman visited the Rampurhat sub-divisional hospital to get acquainted with the infrastructure and other problems being faced by patients.

During their interaction, the district magistrate placed more proposals for improving health services in the district.

At the Suri Sadar Hospital, there are over 20 doctors who have put in 10 years or more. Some of them have reached retirement age and cannot be transferred now against their will, according to government rules. The others are in no mood to accept transfers. According to hospital sources, at least 12 transfer orders have been issued recently, but only three doctors have abided by them.

Eight doctors have been working with the Rampurhat hospital for the past decade. Three of them have succeeded in thwarting transfer orders.

A surgeon, who was served the order on September 24, got a two-week stay from the state administrative tribunal. The fortnight is over, but he is continuing in his present position, the sources said.

Asked about their reluctance to move, a doctor, who has been working with the Suri Sadar Hospital for 12 years, said on condition of anonymity: “It is really very difficult to leave a well-set establishment after spending a long time there and settle in another place.”

Reacting sharply to Roy’s proposal, another doctor said: “Stopping salary will virtually amount to suspension. The doctors denied payment will naturally have to pay more attention to private practice to earn a living.”

He felt “whimsical” transfer of doctors will “demoralise” those working “with devotion and care” in hospitals across the state.

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