The State government has decided to introduce the biometric system of recording the attendance in all the government hospitals, including the Primary Health Centres, to ensure total attendance by the doctors, according to V.K. Subburaj, Principal Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the Tamil Nadu Public Health Conference at Yelagiri Hills on Friday, Mr. Subburaj said that the decision has been taken following the incident in the Government Vellore Medical College Hospital, Adukkamparai, leading to the suspension of three doctors for their act of leaving the hospital early after signing in the attendance register. He said that not only in Vellore, but throughout the State, there is a tendency among doctors working in the districts to yearn for a posting in Chennai. The problem found in GVMCH was also there in the Chengalpattu Medical College Hospital, where too the doctors have a tendency to go to Chennai frequently.

Asked about the period of suspension of the three suspended doctors of the GVMCH, the Health Secretary said that no time limit has been fixed for their suspension. The Deans of the Government Medical College Hospitals have been told to monitor the functioning of the doctors, have a meeting in the afternoon and monitor their presence just before the leaving time.

“It is the duty of the Deans to ensure the presence of doctors during the duty hours”, he said.

Asked about the action taken against those involved in the sale of date-expired drugs, Mr. Subburaj said that the criminals behind the racket have been nabbed. Even on Friday, 20 persons were arrested.

The State government is engaged in talks with the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers on the procedures to be adopted by them to ensure that only genuine and valid drugs were sold in the market, he said.

To a question on the steps taken against quacks, the Health Secretary said that the doctors are being asked to display their certification and credentials in front of their clinics. People who come across quacks could pass on the information to the district officials or the concerned health officials through SMS or phone for taking suitable action.

He said that he has instituted an enquiry into the complaints of doctors and technicians in the Government Hospital, Arakkonam asking patients to visit their private clinics or take X-ray in their private X-ray centres functioning in the vicinity of the hospital.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National