Editorial: Ensure accountability first


The Jammu and Kashmir Government has constituted a panel to ensure adherence to government circulars and orders that have banned private practice by medicos working in Government Medical Colleges, Government Dental Colleges and the Associated Hospitals of the state. This in view of the fact that rampant non-compliance to the said orders by many doctors.

On Monday, the Health & Medical Education Department, J&K Government in statement, said that a committee has been constituted to implement the Government order No.43-HME of 2013 dated 17-01-2013 and Circular No: 02-HME of 2016 dated 13-06-2016 regarding Ban on Private Practice upon all HOD’s in Government Medical Colleges, Government Dental Colleges and the Associated Hospitals of the state in letter and spirit.

Principal Secretary, Health & Medical Education Department, Dr. Pawan Kotwal has been appointed as Chairman while as Director Health Services, Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman, Director, AIDs Control Society, J&K Dr Mushtaq and Additional Secretary H&ME Department Naseer Ahmad, according to the statement, have been appointed as members of the committee.

While the initiative is a welcome move, the backdrop in which this panel has been formed, raises doubts on whether the aims would be met. Simply put, why did we need such a panel for enforcement of instruction passed almost a year ago.

It is clear that despite instruction from the government, concerned medicos are not paying heed and are brazenly violating orders in order to carry on with their private practice. This apart from being a departmental insubordination also means that the common man won’t get facilities that he is supposed to get in the government hospital and he will have to pay for the same in the private clinics.

This utter disregard for official instruction and public welfare is a resultant of decades of official apathy and lack of accountability in the system. Despite flouting of instructions we haven’t seen strict action, as warranted against such medicos. That seems to have encouraged everyone.

As such, it is imperative that constitution of this panel doesn’t end up like yet another useless administrative exercise, but is actually able to put an end to the menace of private practice by concerned medicos.

This would only be achieved if there is accountability and action against those who do not comply.


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