Maha: First fix the working hours, then take action: Doctors body to govt

On September 1, the state government had issued the notification, to take stern action against the doctors, who stay absent from work without proper and prior permission. However, the Association of Medical Officers has objected to this decision. They, in reply, have asked the government to fix the working hours before taking any action

  • If a doctor from a government hospital, is absent from work without a prior intimation, owing to which a patient or a pregnant woman or her child lose their life, then strict action will be taken against the medical officer 
  • The Maharashtra government has decided to suspend the said medical officer 
  • Also, the state government will recommend the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) to cancel the license of the doctor
  • Also, disciplinary action will be taken against the medical officer who stays absent from the duty without proper reason

The Maharashtra government has decided to suspend the medical officer, who stays absent from work, owing to which a patient or a pregnant woman or her child lose the life. This decision was taken after the government took note of patients’ complaints regarding the unavailability of doctors in the rural areas.

However, the decision has sent shivers among the doctor’s fraternity. The doctor’s organisation have shown their displeasure with the government’s decision.

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While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Rajesh Gaikwad, President of the Maharashtra Association of Gazetted Medical Officers, said, “What if something untoward happens due to the non-availability of the medicine, machinery and inadequate support staff. So, it is wrong to fix the blame squarely on the doctors. No medical officers should be held accountable if something happens after an eight-hour-long shift. The state government must fix the duty hours first, and then if a doctor stays absent from work, action should be taken against him.”

Dr Gaikwad further added, “The state government has not specified how many hours the doctors should work. The courts have given the direction to the state to fix the working hours. However, the government is not taking this seriously. Our simple demand to the government is, first they should implement eight hours daily, and 48 hours per week, working hours. Till then, this decision should not be implemented.”