91 more newly-appointed doctors terminated, 9 resign

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The state government on Thursday issued termination orders for 91 medical officers who had been selected recently but were not available to work at their places of posting, while nine others have tendered resignation. 
The fresh orders have subtracted 100 more doctors from the already shrinking pool of medical officers meant to improve healthcare delivery in rural areas. 
The order states that among the freshly terminated doctors, 30 have not joined at their places of posting even after the last date of joining elapsed. The remaining have been found to have joined but were not physically present at their places of posting “despite issuance of last notice”.
Health and medical education department also served the “last chance notice” to 24 medical officers who have been found physically absent from their places of posting despite having put in their joining reports. 
In addition, termination orders of eight medical officers have been revoked upon communication by directorate of health services that their names were “inadvertently” in the list of those doctors who had not joined. 
The fresh termination orders have brought down the strength of medical officers selected for 1000 posts to mere 393. Officials said 528 selectees have either stayed away from their jobs or have continued to hold on to their prior commitment such as postgraduate degree or residency. The depleted strength, a health department official said, is set to jolt the delivery of health services in rural areas.
On 14 January this year, Government issued the selection list of 921 medical officers who were to be posted in peripheral health sector that is marred by chronic shortage of doctors. 
The selectees were given a time frame to join the places of posting issued subsequently. The joining dates were extended several times owing to inclement weather conditions that posed hindrance in travel to far-flung and difficult areas. 
During this period, the selectees who were pursuing postgraduate courses or were engaged on registrar or resident posts had sought flexibility in joining time. However, the state government as well as the High Court had issued orders that all selected candidates had only one option—either to join their places of posting or continue with their prior engagements.
Last month 437 medical officers who had failed to join their places of posting were terminated. 
An official in health and medical education department said that after consolidating fresh vacancies, the waiting list would be finalised to recruit doctors.

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