Biometric attendance, grievance redress measures in place

Government hospitals in the district are set to tighten hold on doctors, paramedical and housekeeping staff with a string of new measures in place, including a biometric attendance system, information boards encouraging patients to contact higher authorities in case of staff absenting from duty.

Biometric attendance systems would come into effect from October 1, announced Health Minster V.S. Vijay recently. Funds have been allotted to install biometric attendance systems that record finger prints and possibly photo identification of all staff who report for work, T. Selvaraj, joint director, health services, told The Hindu. “These measures are attempted to make functioning of government hospitals transparent,” he said.

Acknowledging that complaints relating to lapse of duty, including reporting late, leaving much before scheduled time to pursue private practice, are not uncommon, Dr.Selvaraj felt the new measures would ensure patients are not turned down for want of services. Doctors and staff will have to report for duty by 7. 30 a.m. and are required to stay till 1.30 p.m. on the premises.

Several boards delineating outpatient service hours have been placed at vantage points on the premises to inform patients. It is also notified that pregnancy, child health issues, and emergency procedures would be available 24 x 7 at the taluk hospitals at Srirangam, Musiri, Manachanallur, Lalgudi, Thottiam, Thuraiyur, Omandur, and Thuvarankurichi and district headquarters hospital in Manapparai.

Another set of display boards with cellphone numbers of the chief medical officer and Joint Director, Health Services, have been installed in all hospitals in the district asking patients to promptly contact authorities when there are no staff to attend.

A similar move was opposed last year by government doctors who demanded that the system be implemented in all government agencies.

The measures would minimise complaints, feels Dr.Selvaraj. The attendance records can be accessed by the joint director and the directorate of health services.