Strongly objecting to allegations of doctors not reporting for their duties in government hospitals, the Orissa High Court has appointed committees under every District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) to undertake surprise inspections during duty hours.
'Health Care Getting Hampered'
Lawyer Chittaranjan Mohanty had submitted before the court that the doctors associated with Government health facilities such as district health centres (DHH), community health centres (CHC) and the primary health centres (PHCs) were carrying on private practice without attending to their duties at the Government institutions. As a result, the availability of quality health care throughout Odisha is getting hampered, he pointed out.
A Division Bench comprising Dr S Muralidhar and Justice A K Mohapatra concurred with Mohanty, stating that it was a serious issue. "The secretary of every DLSA will forthwith constitute a four-member team, which will include two lawyers of the panel of DLSA – one of whom preferably should be a woman lawyer – and two para-legal volunteers (PLVs), who will undertake a visit in the next week to one DHH, one CHC and two PHCs in the district at different hours unannounced," ordered the Bench, according to The Hindu.
As per the direction, the panels will record whether all the medical staff, including doctors, ward staff, and nurses assigned to that facility, are in position and attendance.
The bench added that the general condition of each such DHH, CHC and PHC will be documented either by photographs or video clips. This would be done on two days during different periods. Each team will submit their report along with photographs or video clips in a pen drive to the secretary DLSA concerned, it added. A 2003 order allows Government doctors to continue the private practice after completing their official duties. The bench directed that the exercise be completed by November 30.