Lok Ayukta order draws line on govt. hospital staff’s duty hours in Kerala

Kerala Lok Ayukta has directed the government to ensure that doctors and staff nurses in all government hospitals attend duty strictly in accordance with the government orders (GOs) in force and to take stern action against those who violate the directions in the orders.

The government has also been directed to issue a comprehensive order containing the rules in force, along with a warning about the stern action that would be taken against violators.

The Lok Ayukta directive came following a complaint about irregularities in government hospitals, including differential working hours of doctors, the absence of doctors during duty hours and practices such as availing a day off before the night shift day. Earlier, as part of preliminary enquiry, the Lok Ayukta had appointed Dinendra Kashyap as enquiry officer.

The enquiry officer’s report said that many hospitals had differential OP times. It said some doctors left the hospital immediately after completing the examination of OP patients. The practice of availing an off day before the night duty day was not a practice approved by the government.

As per the existing rules, the duty time of medical officers in primary health centres and community health centres is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Earlier, it was from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with a break from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.). The duty time was refixed as 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. ( without break) based on the demands raised by doctors.

As per the rules, doctors on night duty are entitled to avail themselves of a night off from 8 a.m. on the day following night duty, but an off day preceding the night shift is not allowed, the Lok Ayukta pointed out.

The complaint had been filed by Ravi Ulliyeri of Kozhikode. The case has been posted for a later date when the Health Secretary will have to present the compliance report.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 9:33:05 am |