Politicians and bureaucrats are taking on doctors for cheap popularity in public, breaking news in TV and headlines in newspapers that in Andhra Pradesh they are planning to attach RFID Tags to body of doctors, as RFID tags are put on different commodities in big malls so that nobody can steal them; on hens, chickens, goats, cows, and buffaloes in animal husbandry; and on lions, tigers, deer in forest area so that their movement can be assessed throughout 24 hours.
In the present scenario, most doctors in government hospitals and medical colleges, in private clinics, nursing homes, corporate hospitals and medical colleges have to sign in and out in register two times besides they have to give two times biometric attendance and Aadhaar card enabled live monitoring. Any 15 minutes delay either during IN or OUT that day is marked as absence and their salary is cut.
Government says that doctors run away after signing the attendance register and again come for signing the outgoing register so they should be monitored round the clock, forgetting the fact that most doctors are on call 24×7 for patients admitted to them or their unit in hospitals. Junior doctors, nursing staff, superintendent, principal, director, dean, CEO can call them anytime and most doctors are on call in campus 24×7 at least 2-3 days in a week on their admission day but no extra payment is made for this excessive rigorous duty. It is declared as the humanitarian obligation and compulsion of this noble profession.
On the Independence Day or on the Republic Day they have to be on duty if in nearby areas a flag hosting by CM or governor is done or in their area if the President, CM or a Minister visits. They are called in the emergency if any flood or bomb attack etc happens and all their leaves are cancelled if the epidemic of any disease occurs but for this extra duty, no extra payment is made.
On the contrary, after politicians hardly attend the legislative assembly or parliament or even after attending disrupt it badly as no work is allowed, what to talk of cutting salary, even TA/DA, cheap food, free traveling, office staffs and many luxurious freebies are provided. Most bureaucrats after coming in their office are hardly traced, if asked the office states that sir is in field or doing official meeting but they are rulers so no question can be raised against them, the person who dispatches the money, who will be able to cut their salary for any absence, any biometric attendance in their office is for simple show.
In many hospitals, only doctors are asked to put biometric attendance, for fear of unions this rule does not apply on third or fourth grade employees, so such discriminations against doctors appear very insulting. In spite of working so hard in many hospitals and medical colleges, doctors are recruited as temporary or vising consultants where payment is made as per hourly basis and in hospitals they are paid only half of visiting or consulting or operating fee collected from patients; here there is no leaves granted to doctors, if no patient comes to get consultancy during his sitting in hospital, nothing will be paid to the doctor although he/she has to attend the hospital during allotted time regularly.
In many private medical colleges, doctors are appointed only during the MCI inspection and paid for these two days only and in government medical colleges they are appointed as contractual workers with half of salary paid to regular appointed doctors with two days total leaves in a month against the Supreme Court ruling that contractual workers will get the same salary as regular workers and 15 days casual leaves, 30 days earned leaves, besides 30 days medical leaves.
It is high time that every doctor should raise voice against this injustice and also compel his/her association to fight for the honour and respect of doctors and should select and elect only those office bearers who fight for the prestige of doctors rather than prevailing attitude of office bearers to be with the state or the central government for their personal self and benefits.
Prof Dr D R Nakipuria
North Delhi Municipal Corporation Medical College, Delhi
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