Give un­der­tak­ing that you’ll not move court: Govt to docs

DEPT CHANGE Ru­ral devel­op­ment depart­ment hopes that such un­der­tak­ings will mean there can be no hitch in shift­ing doc­tors to the health depart­ment

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - PUNJAB - Ravin­der Va­sudeva ravin­der.va­sudeva@hin­dus­tan­times.com

CHANDI­GARH: With the pro­posal to merge dis­pen­saries run by the depart­ment of pan­chayat and ru­ral devel­op­ment into the health depart­ment reach­ing a dead­lock on se­nior­ity of doc­tors, the ru­ral devel­op­ment depart­ment has asked the in­ter­ested doc­tors to give an un­der­tak­ing against mov­ing court in future over the is­sue.

In a let­ter (Fe­bru­ary 2) to ad­di­tional deputy com­mis­sion­ers (ADCs, devel­op­ment), the pan­chay­ati raj and ru­ral devel­op­ment deputy di­rec­tor (head­quar­ters) has directed them get un­der­tak­ings of doc­tors who are will­ing to merge their ser­vices into the health depart­ment.

“Those who are will­ing to join health ser­vices with the con­di­tion that they will be given se­nior­ity in the new depart­ment from the day of their merger should send their con­sent to the ADCs (D) [ad­di­tional deputy com­mis­sioner, devel­op­ment] of­fice in the re­spec­tive dis­tricts. They also have to fill a form giv­ing un­der­tak­ing that once they are merged with the health depart­ment, they will not move court in near future seek­ing changes in se­nior­ity,” the cir­cu­lar reads.

“I will have only fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits from the ru­ral devel­op­ment depart­ment and will never opt for lit­i­ga­tion on the is­sue of se­nior­ity once my ser­vices are merged with the health depart­ment,” reads the pro forma the doc­tors will have to sign while giv­ing their con­sent for the merger.

A sep­a­rate pro forma is at­tached with the let­ters sent to the ADCs (D).

A se­nior health depart­ment of­fi­cial said the de­ci­sion to get direct an un­der­tak­ing from doc­tors was taken after some del­e­ga­tions of ru­ral medi­cos met health min­is­ter Brahm Mo­hin­dra that they were ready to merge with the health depart­ment as the gov­ern­ment wanted.

Ear­lier, the pro­posal of “dy­ing cadre” was also mooted in the meet­ing of both the de­part­ments that was chaired by the chief sec­re­tary. The ‘dy­ing cadre’ means once the doc­tors in the ru­ral med­i­cal cadre join the health depart­ment, a sep­a­rate cadre will be cre­ated and no fur­ther re­cruit­ment will be made in it and it will cease to ex­ist once all doc­tors re­tire. The idea of merger was mooted by health min­is­ter Mo­hin­dra to tackle short­age of doc­tors in his depart­ment.

After the ru­ral devel­op­ment depart­ment gave its go-ahead, the plan got stuck as doc­tors in ru­ral dis­pen­saries de­manded se­nior­ity in the Pun­jab Civil Med­i­cal Ser­vices (PCMS) cadre from the date of their orig­i­nal join­ing. The state health depart­ment wanted these ru­ral medi­cos to join as ju­niors to the PCMS doc­tors.

On the un­der­tak­ing sought by the ru­ral devel­op­ment and pan­chay­ats depart­ment, state pres­i­dent of the Ru­ral Med­i­cal Ser­vices As­so­ci­a­tion Dr Aslum Parvez said it is a pres­sure tac­tic.

“Mak­ing ru­ral med­i­cal of­fi­cers lose se­nior­ity in the name of trans­fer to the health depart­ment is against the law of jus­tice,” he said.

“Our depart­ment has not even waited for the re­port of the chief sec­re­tary on the is­sue of se­nior­ity that will be given to ru­ral med­i­cal of­fi­cers and it has al­ready started adopt­ing pres­sure tac­tics,” he added.

Ear­lier, of a to­tal of 765 doc­tors serv­ing in the ru­ral devel­op­ment depart­ment, only 129 had given con­sent to merge with­out seek­ing se­nior­ity in the health depart­ment.

Mak­ing ru­ral med­i­cal of­fi­cers lose se­nior­ity in the name of merger is against jus­tice. Our depart­ment didn’t even wait for the chief sec­re­tary’s re­port on the is­sue of se­nior­ity and it has started adopt­ing pres­sure tac­tics. DR ASLUM PARVEZ, state pres­i­dent, Ru­ral Med­i­cal Ser­vices As­so­ci­a­tion

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