Social activist laments inaction by authorities on private practice by J&K govt. doctors
Jammu, Jan 12
Senior social activist Sukesh C. Khajuria has lamented that no action has yet been taken by the J&K Govt on his complaint even after passage of a month. He had written on December12, 2022 to the J&K Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha requesting him to enforce the government instructions against doing private practice by on the issue of private practice by Head of the departments of government medical college and Government Dental College and all Government doctors during office hour but no action in this matter has been taken so far.
The Government order no. 43-HME of 2013 dated January 17, 2013 by the J& K government states 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”.
Sukesh.C. Khajuria , in a statement said that it is surprising that in spite 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 turning a blind eye to it for reasons best known to the people at the helm of affairs.
He had sought intervention from the LG Manoj Sinha to end this unethical conduct of doctors which is violative of service conduct rules. He lamented that “while the government had been upgrading the infrastructure and medical equipment to address health issues of the people, doctors in the government run hospitals and dispensaries are indulging in private practice during their duty hours depriving the common masses of their services”.
“It is despite the fact that time and again, the government comes out with directives banning private practice by government doctors but sadly it is not adhered to and most of the senior health officials try to ignore it or turn a blind eye towards the ground realities,” he added.
He further said that as proof he had sent a video of a lecturer of Government medical college, Jammu Dr. Syed Maqbool who is blatantly performing an operation in a private hospital during his duty hours. “This is in violation of services conduct Rules as well as various guidelines issued from time to time and also goes against the ethics of public service for which the doctor have been appointed by the government”, he added
“I had also been fighting against private practice by the heads of the departments of Government medical colleges and Dental colleges in J&K but to no avail,” he said..
He said that as late as October 27, 2022, the health and medical department in its order has debarred three doctors from private practices who were indulging in it violating the Standard Treatment Guidelines (STG) of the National Health Authority (NHA).
He further said that he had been constantly fighting the vested interest in health care system Particularly on the issue of private practice by government doctors particularly senior doctors including Head of Departments which had impacted the health care adversely as common people are not getting adequate and specialised medical care as doctors encourage patients to get treated from 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,” Khajuria charged.
He said that a list of some of the doctors involved in mal practice has also been shared with the health and medical education dept but despite 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 former 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.
Sukesh C.Khajuria has been active for the past more than four decades in the state advocating public issues concerning the common masses particularly in the health and medical services also took up cudgels on behalf of the innocent infant victims of Ramnagar area of Udhampur district, who died due to spurious drugs and took their case to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for adequate compensation. Sale of spurious dug is one part of the unfortunate story of health sector in J&K.
On NHRC recommendations on his complaint, the J and K UT administration has to pay Rs.36 lakh as a relief to the relatives of 12 (twelve) infants, who died after consumption of unchecked “spurious” cough syrup in Ramnagar area of district Udhampur. The Supreme Court of India on Friday 11 November, 2022 dismissed an SLP filed by J&K administration challenging an order of the Jammu Kashmir & Ladakh High Court dated: – 02 march, 2021 which upheld two orders of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) directing to pay Rs. 3 Lakh as compensation to the families of Infants who died after consuming unchecked “Spurious” cough syrup. Having gone through the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court and considering the fact that it was specifically found that the Officers of The Drug and food Control Department were negligent and therefore ultimately the state will be liable to pay the compensation for the death of Children who died because of spurious cough syrup