TAMIL NADU

Government's silence worries doctors

MADURAI, NOV. 29. Even as the Medical Council of India issues show-cause notice to medical teachers asking why action should not be taken against them for taking employment in more than one college at the same time, the "silence" maintained by the Government is worrying doctors' associations.

Sources in the Health Department said that at least 23 government doctors were served show-cause notice. The doctors are said to have replied that they "only complied with the instructions of the authorities concerned." The charge is that the doctors, mostly those serving in State-owned medical colleges, taught in one college, but claimed to be employed in some other college during an MCI inspection, furnishing "false" declarations. When the MCI obtained the staff particulars of individual colleges, it came to light that many doctors claimed to be employed in two or more colleges at the same time. After finalising the list of "defaulting" doctors, the MCI issued the show-cause notice. The Ethics Committee, after hearing the doctors, debarred 65 of them (10 in Tamil Nadu), removing their names from the Indian Medical Register.

The MCI also warned that action "would be applicable mutatis mutandis to all teachers who have been found employed in more than one college for 2003-04 and whose case has not been finalised due to non-appearance or any other reason."

Committee mooted

"The doctors are worried over the delay in the Government's response on the issue. Many have received the show-cause notice in Chennai. As the doctors went on temporary deputation only on the instruction of the Directorate of Medical Education, the Government should plead their case with the MCI," said the president, Tamil Nadu Government Doctors' Association, Madurai, S. Somasundaram.

A high-power committee, headed by the Health Secretary, with due representation by doctors' associations, should be constituted at the earliest to study the deficiencies in Government medical colleges. "The recommendations should be implemented immediately," Dr. Somasundaram said adding that a recruitment drive was the need of the hour to fill vacant posts of assistant surgeons.

The Tamil Nadu Senior Civil Surgeons' Association State secretary, BKC, Mohan Prasad, said the doctors only obeyed the instructions of the Government.

"As public servants, we are duty bound to obey the directions of the Government."

Counselling

Counselling for the appointment of serving Government doctors for the posts of readers/professors would be held on December 2 to fill vacancies in the Andipatti, Kanyakumari, Salem, Coimbatore and Tirunelveli medical colleges.

While Andipatti and Kanyakumari colleges would get fresh postings, recruitment in other colleges would be proportionate to the recent increase in the number of seats. However, recruitment would be subject to approval of the MCI, the sources said.

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