Message Board 25th Aug 2014:
India celebrated another Independence Day on Aug 15th. Out popular Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi speaking on the occasion from the historic Red Fort called himself the “Pradhan Sevak” of the country. He addressed to the basic issues like sanitation and environment but exhorted the people to act proactively and do whatever they can. His address was filled with energy and positivity. He invited other countries of the world to come, invest and ‘Make things in India’ but it remains to be seen if the famous red-tape of India would let this happen! Our PM projected his government as a problem-solver and assured to handle issues like corruption, transparency in deployment of public funds, efficient policing, speedy delivery of justice etc. with alacrity. DADWA wishes him success but service doctors like all tax-payers of the country, would surely wish that their money is utilized properly and not wasted. It is painful to see tax-payers’ money being wasted in poorly constructed roads, badly designed public buildings and ill-maintained hospitals. New roads constructed by one department are quickly dug-out by others. The public service commissions, the police, the bureaucracy and our judiciary have become a suspect in the eyes of the people but we would keenly watch and support him in facing these challenges.
Another important comment that the PM made in his speech was that doctors should stop ‘killing the female child’ and filling-up their ‘Tijoris’ by such means. It is anyone’s guess if his statement was an influence of Aamir Khan; or whether medical profession is an easy target to put the blame on even for a social-ill as this. As things stand today, our PM may not be completely wrong but his statement from Red-fort on this day is not fair to a much larger number of doctors, both young and senior, who work hard and ethically in public interest.
The nation respects the intent of the government to save the girl child; but his message is liable to be misinterpreted. It may fuel the notion that doctors across India are creating wealth out of malpractice. This also might make some people justify their acts of violence against the medical profession and the health institutions. It is time leaders of our profession wake-up and work together to change this perception. Today a medical graduate has to face a tough entrance, long duration of course and heavy costs thanks to capitation in private colleges. Their aspirations to earn well as compared to others are looked down upon and yet the society feels bad if they leave the country. Why should doctors in private practice be denied to make money through their practice like any other entrepreneur?
The INCIDENT AT DDU HOSPITAL: IS THIS THE FATE OF OUR PUBLIC HOSPITALS?
Incidents of hostility against hospital personnel and hospitals are becoming frequent despite the legislation to protect them. The public health system on the other hand remains over-burdened, understaffed and health personnel continue to slog under trying circumstances. It is a miracle huge number of patients mostly the poor and the disadvantaged continue to use its services but the users in general remain un-impressed. The bureaucracy while holding the powers to recruit, to transfer and to promote remain unconcerned to the HR needs of the public health system as they are never held responsible for the situation. They do not hesitate to implicate health personnel as the root cause of all ills while demanding 100% outcomes out of a tired and understaffed system. The mantra is “pass on the buck”. The incident at DDU Hospital reported by a section of press is unfortunate and deserves to be condemned.
The story goes that a lady Dy. Commissioner of Police came to DDU hospital on 1-8-14 in connection with some case. On her way she saw some male nurses marking their attendance in the Biometry Attendance Marking System and making jokes while putting their finger in the machine.
The lady DCP sensed a double-meaning to the dialogue among the male-nurses about fingering and intervened in a manner that offended the nurses. One of them asked her to mind her own business but this is where hell broke loose. Reportedly the DCP and her 4-5 uniformed police-constables took law into their hands and beat-up the nurses mercilessly. Later suspecting back-lash, the DCP reportedly lodged a complaint alleging her molestation by those beaten up. She did not report the matter to the Medical Superintendent and later one of the nurses who was getting treated for his injuries in emergency was picked up by plain-clothed policemen and sent to Tihar Jail. So, in essence, crime was reported by police and solved by the police in a record time and culprits put to jail. It is a different matter that here the complainant and investigator was also the police. The hospital staff went on strike next day and the news spread. The police meanwhile have tried its best to hide the truth and act as the aggrieved party after beating the nurses in the hospital. Great!!
GOVERNMENT’S REACTION: CAN ONE ACHIEVE IMPROVEMENT BY CHANGING HEADS OF HOSPITALS?
A Spl. Secretary and an Addl. Secretary were deputed to visit DDU Hospital to investigate the above matter. They reportedly saw the CCTV footage and other evidence and sent a report to the Govt. While the hospital staff and union are yet to learn about action against the DCP, the Medical Superintendent of DDU Hospital, who was posted a few months back, has been transferred, ostensibly due to his inability to keep his hospital clean. This is the third change of MS of this hospital in past 8 months. During same period H&FW Dept. has transferred more than a dozen hospitals chiefs on petty grounds. Whether it is a move to improve the health system or to create as confusion, insecurity among the senior most doctors of H&FW Department is anyone’s guess. DADWA expected that H&FW Department would either own the responsibility for failing to support so many hospital administrations such matters pertaining to cleaning and human resource management or should have come out with measures to support them for which they hold powers and the responsibility. It is sad that most public hospitals remain understaffed and over-burdened on one hand and on the other the administrative department indulges into blame-game. Hope Hon’ble LG and the Union Health Minister would take note of this situation and intervene ….
FINALLY SOME GOOD NEWS WITH SOME BAD FALL-OUT …
The Govt. of Delhi has released a list of 528 doctors on 20-8-14 who have been inducted into Delhi Health Service as part of initial constitution of DHS w.e.f. 23-122009. They were earlier working on contract for several years. Unfortunately the Delhi Govt. has failed to do so for those contractual doctors appointed after 2006 who continue to remain on contract and may be axed as and when a regular doctor joins on their posts. DDWA appeals the government to take note of their predicament and act in their favour as well.
CANELLATION OF OPTION TO JOIN DELHI HEALTH SERVICE (DHS):
It was in 2006 that the DHS was created and Delhi Govt. had sought option from CHS doctors if they wished to join DHS. Now, after several years a number of doctors have approached DADWA to help them cancel their options to go back to CHS citing apathy of the bureaucracy of H&FW Department of Delhi to manage their cadre properly. They seem to be disillusioned but we wish to suggest that since a lot of time has elapsed, they should examine the copy of their option-letters and accordingly draft their representations. They should also see if their cadre control authority viz. CHS acted on their request or took action on its own without properly informing them. It is likely that the remedy would come through the Court. All such members may write to DADWA and we would seek legal opinion on their behalf. Whether or not DADWA would become a party would be decided in the next GBM of DADWA if it approves.
GBM of DADWA:
DADWA will hold its G.B.M. on Saturday Sept. 20th 2014 at 1:30 PM in DMA hall Daryaganj to discuss the issues that confront us today including those related to cadre formation, delay in time-bound promotions, Revision of pay-scales and allowances in 7th Pay Commission, Retirement age, status of ongoing legal cases etc. This GBM will also hold elections of DADWA for posts of President-1, Vice-presidents-2, Gen, Secretary-1, Jt. Secretaries-2, Treasurer-1 and executive committee members who will be elected out of the steering committee members tow from each hospitals and one from each of the 11 districts of DHS, MHS, SHS and DHS (HQ).
We end with a gentle reminder to all our senior members (SAG & NFSG) to contribute Rs.5000/- (Rs.2000/- for the rest) by cheque to the legal corpus of DADWA to fund its ongoing court cases. Those doctors who wish to join DADWA may do so by sending a cheque of Rs.500/- to our treasurer recording their contact details. Please see the note below.
-Dr. Vijay Rai, Secretary DADWA
PS: Members are requested to contribute generously to DADWA’s legal corpus through cheques payable to “Delhi Admn. Doctors’ Welfare Association” and send it to the treasurer “Dr. B.K. Dey, 45, Harit Niketan, West Enclave, Pitampura, Delhi -110034” In case of any difficulty he may be contacted on 9999882644