The Bihar State Health Department has issued notices to over 60 government doctors across the State for having been on unauthorised leave for at least a year or more, officials said on June 1.
A notice listing out the names of such doctors of different health centres and hospitals in this regard was uploaded on the department’s website, according to the State Health Department.
The department directed all the 62 doctors on the list to submit an explanation for their unauthorised absence within 15 days or face strict disciplinary action.
“If no reply is received from the individuals within the stipulated time, it will be construed that they have no explanation to offer. In that case, the department has the power to initiate disciplinary action against them,” said a department’s senior official. “Unauthorised absenteeism invites action, including dismissal, under the provisions of government servant, conduct rules,” he said.
The official said that the doctors under the radar had been abstaining from duty for at least one year, and some had not been coming to work for the past five to six years.
“The department had sought an explanation from the doctors earlier. However, they did not reply. The doctors who have been served the notices include community health centres and those posted in the district hospitals,” he said.
Patna has the maximum number of doctors (14) who have been served notices for unauthorised absence from work for several years. Besides, notices have been served to doctors posted at health centres and hospitals at Buxar, Bhojpur, Rohtas, Jamui and Kaimur, among others.
In January, the Bihar government dismissed 64 doctors posted in different districts and hospitals in the State from service for ”unauthorised absence” from duty for more than five years.
The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Before taking the step, the government doctors in question had been given several opportunities to clarify the reasons behind their absence, but they did not submit their replies, the officials said.