Pattan town divided on doctor’s punishment transfer

Pattan town divided on doctor’s punishment transfer
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Some accuse him of malpractice, others demand revocation of transfer

Pattan (Baramulla): The transfer of a doctor from SDH Pattan had divided the town with some accusing the doctor of malpractice while others coming out in support.
A group of residents in the town is seeking that the department cancel the doctor’s transfer order to Kalaroos Kupwara, issued after a departmental enquiry found him guilty of violating “standard norms of free drug policy” besides prescribing the drugs of a particular pharmaceutical company.
The inquiry against the doctor had been initiated on a complaint by Pattan Traders Union who alleged that Dr Riyaz Ahmad Dagga (MD) was indulging in malpractice in connivance with a pharmaceutical company and a particular pharmacy.
The transfer order issued by Director of Health Services Kashmir, states that on February 19 a protest was held by locals in the premises of the SDH Pattan alleging that Dr Riyaz is involved in malpractice.
The order said that an inquiry team deputed by the directorate has reported that the doctor was prescribing medicines by writing the trade name thereby compelling the patients to purchase them from the market by recommending the name of the particular shop, even (when) the medicines from the same salts are available in the store of the hospital free of cost.
“Whereas, by doing such practice the doctor is violating the standing norms of the free drug policy thereby making poor patients of the area suffer, besides is prescribing the medicines of a particular company which signifies that he has a connivance with a particular company,” the order said quoting the report.
On the recommendation of stern action against the doctor including his transfer Dr Riyaz, Medical Officer at SDH Pattan has been transferred to PHC Kalaroos, Kupwara with immediate effect.
“The doctor shall be deemed to have been relieved from SDH Pattan,” the order said along with direction that BMO Kalaroos keep a vigil on him so that he cannot repeat the “same practice”. Some local residents who talked to Kashmir Reader described the transfer as a biased decision and said that Dr Riyaz was “most public-friendly” and honest doctor at SDH Pattan. They described the accusation against him baseless.
Talking to Kashmir Reader Dr Riyaz denied allegations that he was prescribing medicines of a particular company from a particular shop.
The chemist at the centre of allegations also also expressed ignorance about the situation.
However, president of traders union of Pattan, Sajad Ahmad Qadri said that on February 19, a chemist was taken into police custody on a complaint made by Dr Riyaz. The chemist had gone to the doctor and complained why he was telling patients to buy medicines from a particular shop when that medicine was available with other chemists too.
The chemists in the locality along with members of traders union protested in the SDH premises demanding the release of the chemist. He said that police advised BMO to address the issue and protestors went to BMO office where Dr Riyaz was also present.
“We never wanted to highlight this issue and even apologized to the doctor but he misbehaved with our members and we complained about it to higher authorities,” Qadri said.
On Feb 20, he said, a team from directorate of health arrived in the town to investigate the allegations.
“We handed over the many prescriptions by this doctor to patients on whom it was clearly found that the doctor was prescribing same company medicines to a particular chemist in the locality and consequently he was transferred to Kalaroos,” he said.
Block Medical Officer, Dr Manzoor Ahmad Hakeem told Kashmir Reader that the doctor has been transferred “but as he is on casual leave, he might not be aware of his transfer order”.
“Dr Riyaz has been working here from last three years and we have not received any complaint against him but as the Directorate of Health has done an investigation in this issue, I have no information to share about it,” Dr Hakeem said.