Government serves ultimatum on 483 ‘missing’ doctors

Doctor Medical Practice
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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The health department has decided to act tough against doctors who are on unauthorised absence in the health service. Health minister K K Shailaja has served an ultimatum for them to rejoin duty before Saturday. If the doctors fail to rejoin, they will be terminated from service.

It has been found that 483 doctors are on unauthorised absence at present. These doctors have been served notice to rejoin the duty before November 30. Apart from the doctors, 97 employees of the health department have also been found on unauthorised absence from service. They have also been served with the ultimatum.

This is the second time that the health department is serving ultimatum to ‘missing doctors’ in the health service. In January this year, the health department had served a similar ultimatum to the doctors and had asked them to rejoin duty before January 15. After this, the service of 36 doctors was terminated.

“Now there will be no more extension. For those who cannot rejoin the duty till date, the government is giving one more chance. There will be no more time given for them and the service of the doctors who fail to rejoin will be terminated,” said the health minister.

These include doctors who have gone on long leave for a period of two or five years and have never come back and also those who have secured placement through the PSC but have not joined the service. There are also a few doctors who have gone for higher studies while in service but have not joined back.

The minister said there will be action against those who have flouted the bonded agreement while going for higher studies. The government has decided to take department-level action against such doctors.

It has been decided to conclude that these doctors (if they fail to come back) are not willing to rejoin the health service. Once terminated, the vacancies will be immediately reported to the state public service commission, the minister said.