Dehradun: 5 November, 2015

The transfer policy adopted by the health department, it seems, is a shambles. This week, the department come up with its supplementary transfer list without taking into account that its previous transfer orders, which were issued in August 2015, are yet to be fully implemented, Some doctors have till date refused to report at their new postings. 

In the first list, 58 doctors were transferred. They were give a set deadline of two working weeks till September 15, to join their new postings. However, 15 of the doctors have stayed put at their present positions and location till date. 

When the transfer orders were issued in August, went on leave and some threatened to take voluntary retirement. 

Interestingly, a majority of doctors who are posted in plain areas — Udham Singh Nagar and Dehradun districts — are the ones who are not ready to relocate. Two doctors each in Haridwar and Nainital districts are yet to comply with their transfer orders. 

A senior official from the health department said doctors from the plain areas are reluctant to serve in the remote areas because of political unwillingness on the part of the government as well as absence of a proper HR policy. Also, it is unfortunate, he said, that doctors in this state are doing more of administrative jobs rather skilled work at hospitals for which they have been hired by the government. 

A source at the secretariat disclosed that most of the doctors who have still not adhered to the transfer orders are using their political connections to defer their transfer. 

However, health minister Surendera Singh Negi promised stringent action against those doctors who fail to comply with their transfers. "I have directed principal secretary, health, to ask transferred doctors to adhere to the orders at the earliest, otherwise, stringent action will be taken against all these doctors." 

The reluctance to serve in the hill and remote areas in the state stems from the fact that these areas have poor poor infrastructure. 

At present, Uttarakhand is facing a severe shortage of doctors and they are not deployed evenly across the 13 districts due to which patients in remote areas are deprived of good healthcare. 

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