MLA orders action against ‘recalcitrant’ doctors

Staff Correspondent

Taluk-level KDP meeting held in Chitradurga district

ESMA may be invoked against them

Notices to be served against absentees

Chitradurga: Angry over the failure of government doctors to obey official orders, Holalkere MLA M. Chandrappa has directed the taluk health officer to book criminal cases under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against those refusing to work in a Primary Health Centre (PHC) of the taluk.

Chairing the quarterly taluk panchayat Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) meeting here on Monday, the MLA directed the official to take stern action against doctors who failed to discharge their duties properly.

During the meeting, the official said that of the 27 required doctors, only 16 had been appointed. He said the Government had stopped appointing doctors on contract basis.

To ensure that medical services are not affected in the PHCs, some doctors have been deputed to serve in rural areas. However, a few of them have been refusing to go there. “The department has already ordered a cut in their salaries,” the health officer said. To this, the MLA said a mere salary cut would not work until criminal cases were booked against them.

Mr. Chandrappa also directed Executive Officer (EO) Ningappa to serve notices on officials who did not attend the meeting.

Chitradurga MLA S.K. Basavarajan, who was also present, expressed unhappiness over the improper implementation of the afforestation programme under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, by the Social Forestry Department. He alleged that at many places, only pits had been dug and saplings not planted although the department had claimed to have spent over Rs. 20 lakh on the exercise. He directed the officer to conduct an inquiry into the issue. After reviewing the progress of the Social Welfare Department, Mr. Basavarajan directed the official to handover the government hostel building to the City Municipal Council.

Tahsildar Kumaraswamy was present.

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