Anantnag: The functioning of district hospital remains below par in Anantnag town due to overstay of several influential doctors who have continuously averted their transfers. The practice has led to flourishing of private practice and thriving nexus between doctors and pharmaceutical companies.
The transfer policy of the Health department clearly states that a doctor should have a minimum tenure of two years and a maximum of three years at a certain place.
However, at Anantnag district hospital, sources say, many doctors have been overstaying at the facility for over ten years now. Some more influential doctors are working in the hospital for more than a decade and a half.
An anesthetist, a general surgeon, an ENT specialist and a dermatologist are among the doctors who refuse to leave the ‘choicest posting’.
Sources said that these doctors, most of them locals, ‘manage’ their postings at will to avoid scrutiny.
“What they do is they get themselves transferred to another place for a few months and then get either an attachment or a transfer order back to the district hospital,” sources at the hospital told Kashmir Reader.
By doing so, sources said, the doctors after every few years manage to put a new date of joining at the district hospital and avoid scrutiny.
“Obviously they do it in connivance of some higher ups in the department,” a highly placed official told Kashmir Reader.
The phenomenon has two very grave effects over the working of the hospital.
Private practice and a doctor-pharma nexus have been thriving right under the nose of the administration.
“They are mostly local doctors and by staying closer to home and at a busy medical facility they increase footfall at their private clinics,” sources said adding, “some of them have even set up private hospitals and lure patients to these hospitals for surgeries.”
Besides, sources say, these doctors have a well established nexus with the pharmaceutical companies which a new doctor will take years to build.
Minister of State for Health and Medical Education, Asiea Naqash, told Kashmir Reader that the government was working round the clock for improvement of health facilities and will definitely look into this matter.
“Yes, I agree that unfortunately government hospitals are being used to enhance private practice by some doctors but we are working towards eradicating the menace,” Naqash said.
She said that the government has written to both finance department and the public service commission (PSC) for induction of more doctors into the service so that the hospitals at district level do not suffer.