NHM Doctors use influence to work in urban areas in Anantnag
Officials deny, patients continue to suffer
In brazen violation of rules, some doctors recruited under National Health Mission (NHM) in rural areas in south Kashmir's Anantnag district are working either in the Chief Medical Officer's (CMOs) office or on the posting of their choice in major hospitals.
The favoritism is affecting the government of India's initiative aimed at improving health care in peripheries.
"One of the female doctors posted in the Non-communicable Disease Program (NDP) at Kokernag block is enjoying posting at CMO's office in Anantnag," said a source. Similarly, he said that another female doctor posted in the RBSK program under NRHM at Sallar block is working in the same office.
"Another male doctor with his original posting at PHC Donipawa village has managed to get himself posted at CMO's office only," a source said.
Several doctors with their original posting elsewhere are stationed in Maternity and Child Care Hospital Anantnag (MCCH).
"One of the female doctors appointed under NHM in block Sallar has been attached to MCCH and is working in SNCU as medical officer gynecology for the past more than five years," a source said. He said a female doctor originally posted at SDH Seer is attached in PHC Sallar.
Under NHM guidelines none of the doctors appointed under the program can be transferred.
Another source said, "a doctor with his original posting in Achabal block is working in the hospital as a medical officer for long."
"The said doctor was working under NHM at MCCH. Later, after being confirmed through Public Service Commission (PSC) he was posted at Achabal block. However, only two months after his appointment he used his influence and was back to MCCH," he said.
A source revealed, there are many other doctors originally posted in rural areas but enjoying plum posts either in CMO and BMO offices or in major district or sub district hospitals in south Kashmir.
A medic said the sole aim of these doctors is to continue their private practice.
"Lot of influential doctors indulge in malpractices and some compel the poor patients to visit their private clinics," a medic said.
He said that it is doctors like these who bring disrepute to the entire profession.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Anantnag, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad confirmed that in past, few doctors posted elsewhere under NHM were working in MCCH and district hospital Anantnag now GMC.
"We could not send them back to their original postings as after the hospital was upgraded to GMC there was a government order to maintain the status quo for two years and not transfer anyone," he said.
Dr Mukhtar, however, denied that any of the NHM doctors was working in offices of the department of health.