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Dismiss doctors not joining duty in rural areas, NHRC tells Odisha govt

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 11:

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed grave concern over the poor state of health services in Odisha.

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Member of the Commission Sharad Chandra Sinha, who is holding a two-day camp court here, made his concern known to the secretary Health today while conducting a hearing on the death of a pregnant woman.

The NHRC directed the state government to immediately dismiss doctors who don’t join their duties in hospitals in rural areas.

“Most of the primary health centres in the state are running without doctors. The state government has agreed to make available  at least one doctor round the clock at the Community Health Centre (CHC) level following today’s direction from the NHRC. The government has posted doctors in rural health centres but is unaware of their whereabouts while they are drawing their salaries. The NHRC today directed their immediate dismissal,” said Subash Mohapatra a human rights activist.

Health secretary Arati Ahuja told reporters that the government has taken note of the directions of the NHRC and disciplinary action will be initiated against defaulting doctors.

“Our main constraint is vacancies of doctors. Two to three weeks back, we have hiked remuneration for contractual doctors with special incentives for those serving in KBK districts. That is one step we feel will help in meeting the deficit of doctors. We are trying to fill the gap through contractual doctors,”, said Ahuja.

Disciplinary action will be taken against doctors found absent from their duties (not reporting at their workplaces) and fresh recruitments will be made against their posts after their removal, she said.