Demand to implement order banning private practices by Heads of departments
Jammu, Sept 19
Senior social activist Sukesh C.Khajuria who has been fighting for better health care in Government Hospitals ,dispensaries and public health centres for the past 03 decades has urged the J&K administration to get the Government order implemented which bars private practice by the heads of departments of Government Medical Colleges and Dental colleges of the state.
In a press statement issued here today, Sukesh C.Khajuria said that the government order no. 43-HME of 2013 dated January 17, 2013 by the J&K government had stated that “in the interest of administration and patient – care, it is hereby ordered that the Heads of the Departments in Govt. Medical colleges and Associated hospitals and Govt. Dental colleges of the state shall not indulge in private practice henceforth”. But it is surprising that inspite of the Govt. order all the HOD’S are still practicing at the cost of the health of the general public and the administrative department is keeping a blind eye to it for reasons best known to the people at the helm of affairs.
Sukesh C.Khajuria who had constantly fought vested interest in health care system said that the issue of private practice by government doctors particularly senior doctors including Head of Departments had impacted the health care adversely as common people are not getting adequate and specialised medical care. The doctors encourage patients to get treated form them privately in their clinics and private hospitals where they work. Since either they have their own flourishing private clinics or work in private hospitals on fat salaries/income with reported nexus of taking the patients out of Govt. Hospitals to the private institutions.
They get targets to fulfil in order to get their fat salaries of several lakhs per month and the common citizen suffers, this fact has been corroborated by the report of the state health agency and the insurance company covering patients under AB-PMJAY scheme to the state Govt., to the administrative secretary health and medical education department. The List of some of the Doctors involved in mal practice has also been shared with the health and medical education dept. He further said that inspite of the Govt. spending huge amount of money on building infrastructure, procurement of machinery/ equipment’s, the common public of the state is still suffering because of lack of better healthcare facilities in Govt. Health care institutions due to the menace of private practice by the Govt. doctors and in action / helplessness of the Govt.
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court in response to a PIL suggested to assess improvement in the working of medical facilities in J&K had formed a committee of expert doctors headed by PGI Chandigarh director Professor Y K Chawla in 2018 to assess improvement in medical facilities in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Chawla committee recommended a complete ban on private practice of doctors. The committee has suggested number of measures for betterment of patient care services across hospitals.
Some of the recommendations and observations of the committee were:-
- Faculty of medical colleges who are practicing don’t develop research and academics. Therefore, the private practice should be banned in principle.
- A ban on private practices should be incorporated into the college statutes and should be made an offense.
- In service doctors can be offered a golden handshake if they are unwilling to stop the private practice.
- Pay scale and other benefits of faculty should be the same as PGI Chandigarh/AIIMS Delhi. Furthermore, faculty should be given academic leave and incentives.
- In-house practice can be allowed within hospital premises after working hours and the earnings can be shared by both hospital and faculty.
Sukesh C.Khajuria said that the J&K government order banning private practice by HODs and implementation of the Chawla committee recommendations in letter and spirit shall lead to better efficiency in hospitals, better patient care and teaching in the hospitals.
Moreover, the fights for Headship in most of the Departments and related court cases shall get settled and only those who are willing to serve the people & contribute shall opt to become HODs. The HODs will take the work in their respective departments seriously and will also monitor the other Faculty Members, thus increasing accountability and bringing improvement in functioning of the departments.
He further said that in the long run private practice of faculty has to be banned but to begin with the order of ban on private practice of HODs should be implemented in letter & spirit and the HODs should be compensated by way of NPA or salary at par with SKIMS / PGI.
He said that the nexus of taking patients from government hospital to private nursing homes and allegations of long dates for surgery in the hospitals will drastically reduce if HOD’S are non- practicing.
SukeshC.Khajuria said that a road map should be made to first ban the private practice by HODs of all colleges followed by a similar ban on other faculty members of the Government medical college, after the peripheral medical colleges are fully functional and last of all the private practice of Doctors working in the other peripheral health institutions should be banned in the interest of delivery of better patient care services to the public of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The Model of Himachal Pradesh where private practice of all doctors working in Govt. health institutions is banned and the Doctors are compensated by giving Good salaries including NPA. This is a very successful model which can be implemented very easily in the Union territory of J&K also. The H.P model should be implemented fully as it’s a solid case for the betterment of the society,” he added.
SukeshC. Khajuria appealed to the LG J&K UT Manoj Sinha to take this issue on priority and issue necessary directions so that the general public does not suffer anymore.