Have measures been taken against “numerous” physicians in private practice in cities other than the duty station?

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GO No 612, GO of 610, GO 611-JK(HME) of 2022 commissioned from H&ME Deptt. questioned himself

Daya Sagar

GO No. 612-JK (HME) of 2022 dated 12.08.2022 was issued by J&K Government H&ME TU Department signed by Manoj Kumar Dwivedi) IAS, Principal Secretary requesting government doctors to refrain from practicing in private during official hours-hours of service in health Institutions and other bad practices because (i) it has been observed that some H&ME doctors leave . engage in private practice during office hours and also while on duty (ii). It has been noticed that some doctors recommend medical intervention in their private clinics instead of attending the same in the government institutions of their assignment (iii) it has come to the knowledge of the government that many doctors engage in the practice service in cities and towns other than their duty station which against service standards due to which they are not available in an emergency. The order instructed HoDs/DDOs not to permit physicians to engage in such malicious practices, to report such cases to the Regulatory Authority for action against such physicians, and also to submit monthly reports. in this regard. The content of the Order itself talks about the bad situation in the government H&ME Deptt of J&K and raises questions about the administrative department itself, such as the measures taken by the government against the doctors who have been observed in practice private during working hours / official hours? ii. What measures has the government taken against these doctors who ask patients to come to their private clinics and do not treat them in public hospitals? what measures have been taken against “numerous” doctors who have engaged in private practice in cities other than their duty station? More so, there must be many cases of violation of rules of conduct by officials that must have forced the government to issue such an order. So, will the government make public the details of “numerous” doctors who have been found failing and the action taken against them?
Similarly, see H&ME Deptt. J&K Void GB No: 611-JK (HME) of 2022 Dated: /-11-08.2022 s/d by Manoj Kumar Dwivedi) IAS, PS to Government. H&ME Deptt working in Kashmir Valley have been banned from private practice with reference to vacuum GO No: 610-JK (HME) of 2022 dated: /-11-08.2022 nd / Manoj Kumar Dwivedi IAS, PS to Govt .H&ME Dept. where under a committee headed by Choudhary Mohammad Yasin, director of the IAS National Health Mission, J&K had been constituted to carry out a thorough investigation into the issue related to the referral of patients by the “accused doctors”, from public hospitals to private hospitals to benefit from treatment /benefits under AB-PMJAY, & SEHAT Schemes in view of communication SHA-SAFU/2/2022-05 received by the government from the National Health Agency. Again, questions could be asked about the functioning of the department. The GO 611 of the PS indicates that doctors are prohibited from private practice. One might wonder if private practice is allowed to physicians as a regular feature, the answer would surely be no. Instead, private practice is allowed to some doctors (who are also civil servants like other government employees) because relaxing rules of conduct in greater social interest is a very special case. So it would have been appropriate towards the order something like “the relaxation of rules of conduct for ‘said’ government physicians is withdrawn instead of saying they are prohibited from doing private practice”.
Not only does it seem that even welfare schemes are ruthless which could be well felt from 2022 GO No: 608 JK (HME) dated: 11-08-2022 also published H&ME Department had constituted a review committee for complaints of guidelines for the use of revenues for the implementation of the AB-PMJAY and SEHAT programs in public hospitals, granting a period of 15 days for the submission of the report. Administrative positions at the highest levels are filled by Central Service Executive Officers, but the not-so-good position is surely frustrating for at least the civilian “beneficiaries” of J&K’s UT H&ME department.
It should be noted that even where government doctors are government officials/agents who are also subject to the rules of conduct for government officials that apply from a class IV employee to the government secretary, they have been to places given permission by some governments to engage in private practice outside of regular working hours and accept fees (better to call it fees) bearing in mind that they could perform official duties even before or after routine working hours. It is surely for reasons of health emergency and social cause that government doctors have been allowed to provide counseling services before/after their official working hours and also to accept “fees”/payee fees.
Private practice permission was given to government doctors not to increase income, but simply to provide emergency care/consultation in close vicinity at odd hours whenever possible. Otherwise, in case someone claims it was to increase revenue, even engineers/financial staff can render favors and should be allowed. Even a clerk may like to work outside working hours to supplement his income which one may need to be a low-wage employee, but this is not allowed. For such clinical consultations, a doctor could at most put a 10cm x 40cm nameplate in his home, but nowadays one could easily find large signs like a kariyana shop on the house/private clinic of a government doctor. But the way the commercialization of relaxations granted for private practice has increased in UT like J&K, the quality of services rendered by public hospitals has “declined” to the extent what to speak of remote villages even MPs/MPs / senior officials prefer to visit private hospitals.
Some government doctors have made even indirect investments in installing equipment/laboratories with entirely commercial intentions. These days, government physicians are doing almost a “full-time” private business under the guise of private practice licensing. The interaction between drug and utility vendors and medical practitioners has almost turned into business relationships, which also reflects the background of the reference orders above. In a way, the social cause behind allowing government physicians to practice privately has been overshadowed by the commercial interests of physicians.
Previously, the private practice provision was drafted for the benefit of the common man taking into account the level/quantum of professional health services available, but it is now alleged that it has started to harm the common cause. In addition, health services in the private sector have also increased, the number of private practitioners has also increased, the number of retired doctors is also reasonably high now, people appreciate that the services of doctors in institutions like AIIMS and PGI are much more dedicated to medical ethics since there doctors are not allowed to practice in private.
Thus, the need arose to remove the flexibilities granted to private practice by J&K physicians, so no such flexibilities were allowed to other public service professionals such as engineers, accountants who can also increase their income by working off time.
Moreover, since private practice had primarily been allowed to government physicians not to increase their income and there is no justification for granting a non-practicing allowance to government physicians where the relaxation of private practice isn’t there, so strangely even Defense Service doctors get non-practitioners. allocation. !!! Not only that, a close examination will reveal that in Medical College Jammu/Srinagar, some doctors are given a non-practicing stipend which belongs to a stream where generally no patient wishes to go for private treatment.
So in case the greater public cause is not served with the easing given to physicians, damages are also alleged and permission to government physicians for private practice is not to increase their income, so in case it should still be allowed why not allow private practice to all other government employees and if not pay them NPA as well?

(The author is a senior journalist and social activist [email protected]).






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