Amid manpower shortage, Govt allows 26 absentee doctors to rejoin duty

The State Government on Monday allowed more than two dozen doctors, who had remained unauthorisedly absent, to rejoin their duty in different health institutes across J&K.

An official in Health and Medical Education Department (H&ME) said after “partial success” of the recently held recruitment drive for filling 1,000 vacant posts of Medical Officers in rural areas of J&K, the Government has been cautious about losing more human resource allocated for rural health institutes.

He said that the order issued today (July 8), allowing 26 Medical Officers to rejoin after completion of their post-graduation, was a step in this direction.

“These Medical Officers were pursuing higher education, with or without permission of the authorities. But they have are not treated on same lines to those doctors who flee their postings for ‘greener pastures’,” the official said.

The order issued by the Department states that five of the 26 doctors had already started working with Directorate of Health Services “pending confirmation from administrative department” while remaining medicos were awaiting instructions from the Department regarding settlement of their absence for grant of permission to join their duty.

The order states that the Health Department took a “lenient view” and allowed 21 doctors to rejoin, according confirmation to the action taken by Director Health Services Kashmir while accepting rejoining of the five remaining doctors who have been already allowed to work.

All the doctors have however been “warned not to leave their places of posting unauthorisedly for any occasion in future”.

Recently, of the 1,000 newly appointed Medical Officers the government had terminated appointment of around 500 of these doctors who were either pursuing higher education or had remained unauthorisedly absent.

“These 26 doctors however don’t belong to the category of the medicos whose services were terminated recently,” said the official.

The State’s healthcare institutes located in far-flung and difficult areas have been reeling under gross shortage of human resource, especially doctors.

As per the fresh instructions issued by the government no doctor is allowed to pursue any educational or training course during the period of probation. “It is for the first time that Government has selected doctors with the clause that they will have no claim on any concession for the probation period, either on higher education, or transfer,” the official said.

However, he said, the same clause doesn’t hold for other appointments, made earlier.