Srinagar: The dearth of staff in hospitals and dispensaries in Jammu and Kashmir is the result of flawed practices of the health department. Statistics presented before the High Court reveal that out of 1,521 doctors in the state’s health department, 809 are currently on deputation to other departments besides serving in Government Medical College and Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS).
The revelation prompted High Court’s single bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey to issue directions to Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education Department to furnish details, within ten days, about the medical officers and consultants, who are on deputation to undergo training courses including registrar-ship, demonstrator-ship and senior residency.
The top official of the department has also been asked to provide details of medical officers and consultants deputed to other departments with reference to their period of deputation and sanctioned strength of posts filled by these deputations. The court also sought details of doctors, who have migrated from Kashmir with their place of posting within or outside the state.
Elaborating the rationale behind the direction, the bench said, “It is appropriate to seeks details so as to ensure public does not suffer further on account of their absence from the Department having reference to their permissible or impermissible deputation (sic)”. The court said that details have been sought to ensure that deputations for pursuing training courses have been made according to set rules and norms.
The high court direction assumes significance in the backdrop of Governor Administration’s recent decision to dismiss a hundred absconding doctors.
In another direction, the court directed all heads of medical colleges and institutions to relieve all those doctors who have completed the tenure of registrar-ship, demonstrator-ship and senior residency. They have been directed to comply without waiting for further orders from the court.
“Principals of both Medical Colleges as also Director SKIMS, in compliance to order of this Court, shall file personal affidavit(s), giving details of the doctors who have been relieved,” court added. It another direction, it asked the Commissioner to ensure posting of all the relieved doctors in Health Department within ten days.
The court was hearing a petition seeking action against 81 doctors who remained absent from service without permission. On February 17, the court had issued directions to Commissioner Secretary to remain present on the next date of hearing.
As the case came up for hearing on Wednesday, the commissioner secretary informed the court that 100 doctors were last week terminated from their service for unauthorised absence from duties. He said that the 100 vacancies of the medical officers and the consultants will be referred to recruiting agency to be filled up according to the rules.
Giving details about the deputations in an affidavit filed before the court, the officer said that 809 out of 1,521 medical officers in the health department were presently on deputation to other departments, GMC and SKIMS.