Absentee doctors sign even for the next working day
Minister for Medical Education S.A. Ramdas on Monday carried out a surprise visit to the government-run Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital here and witnessed large-scale absenteeism by doctors with some of them having signed even for the next working day. Empty liquor bottles were found in abundance in most of the staff toilets.
During the three-hour inspection, Dr. Ramdas found irregularities in virtually every section of the hospital which serves patients from all sections of society, particularly those from the lower socio-economic strata.
The director of the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Siddappa, accompanied the Minister.
Dr. Ramdas told The Hindu that of the 306-member staff, which includes doctors and paramedics, 25 doctors were absent. Even the attendance register was not being maintained in the prescribed format.
“Of the 25, only 10 had duly given their leave applications. Three doctors had signed the attendance register in advance,” he said. Show cause notices have since been served on them.
It was found that the helpdesk run by a non-governmental organisation, Vishwa Seva Mission, had functioned for a mere fortnight after it was commissioned on August 1, 2010. Incidentally, complaints made against the helpdesk had also remained unattended.
The Minister asked the authorities to ensure that the helpdesk performs all its functions as required.
Observing that case sheets were being written only in English, he asked the hospital authorities to maintain them in Kannada as well.
The Minister, coming to know of unauthorised persons on the premises suspected of misdemeanours such as theft, told the authorities to issue photo identity cards to patients and their attendants immediately. He told the hospital to eject an unauthorised mobile coffee vendor, who, it turned out, had been carrying out his business activities on the hospital premises for years. Many unauthorised items were being sold at the Nandini milk booth located inside the premises of the hospital, he said.