Attendance norm irks Bihar doctors in state-run health-care facilities
The Bihar Health Services Association (BHSA), the association of government doctors, on Sunday opposed the attendance norm for physicians working in state-run health-care facilities.
The Association’s working committee held a meeting at the IMA building in which its members expressed strong objection for the norm of marking attendance for government doctors. The members said they were neither in support of marking attendance through traditional way (in attendance register) nor through newly introduced biometric attendance and video-conferencing system.
“The doctors will consider the attendance norm only when it will be applicable for other gazetted officers but in the present scenario, not all gazetted officers have to mark their attendance on routine basis. Why doctors have to mark their attendance then? The district administration sends their newly appointed block development officers and even Grade IV employees to check whether we are doing our duty properly or not. New ways of demeaning doctors are being used by the government machinery. We strongly oppose this. In case the government wants to check us, they can do a physical verification. The officials can visit our outpatient department, emergency or other departments where we do duty,” said general secretary of BHSA, Dr Ranjit Kumar after emerging from the BHSA meeting.
Last month, the Munger administration launched a system to record attendance of doctors with their selfies. Earlier, the health department also tried to check absenteeism of doctors by calling on the hospital’s landline number. In case the doctor concerned would not have received call, action was supposed to be taken against them.
The doctors’ associations had earlier also put up objection on this way of checking their presence in the government hospitals saying that it was not necessary for doctors to remain vigilant for answering calls and that doctors were most of the times busy doing their duty in OPD, emergency and other wing of the hospital and so they couldn’t answer calls at any time of the day.
In Sunday’s meeting, doctors also demanded removing Bhojpur district magistrate Sanjeev Kumar with immediate effect against whom allegations have been levelled by two doctors that they were thrashed by his bodyguards on his instruction when they didn’t turn up in the meeting convened by him. The BHSA members also demanded to make district civil surgeon as the chairperson of the district health society in place of the district magistrate and they also demanded to assign power in the civil surgeon’s hand to appoint members of the district health society.
Regularisation of the services of contract doctors and formation of security forces for government hospitals were among the other demands of the doctors in the meeting.
“A 25-member committee of doctors have been formed today which will see whether all these demands are implemented by the government or not . In case our demands are not met, the committee will take a decision on how to proceed with the government on this issue,” added Ranjit.
BHSA president Dr Gyan Bhushan and other members of the association, including Dr Rajesh, Dr Sunil Kumar and members of the state chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA) Dr Brajnandan, Dr Ajay Kumar, Dr Shaligram Vishwakarma, Dr Arun and others were present.