aculty members of medical colleges bunking duty for private practice will face stern action, if a recent government initiative is any indicator.
Taking serious note of the habitual absence of medical teachers, a persistent problem across institutions, the state government has asked colleges to submit monthly reports on the absentees on the first day of every month.
Health secretary Arti Ahuja on Wednesday wrote to the principals of medical colleges (copy with TOI) to keep a strict watch on attendance of teachers and take appropriate action against the truant ones.
Ahuja, in her letter to these institutions - Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR), Burla; MKCG Medical College and Hospital, Berhampur; SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack; Acharya Harihar Cancer Research Centre and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Post Graduate Institute of Paediatrics (Sishu Bhawan), Cuttack - expressed concern over the wilful absence of medical teachers from duty. "This is leading to serious dislocation in patient care as well as medical education," she wrote.
"In order to improve the standards of medical education, bring about accountability of the members of the faculty," the health secretary added.
The institutions said they will take due steps. "We will soon convene a meeting of faculty members to avoid unauthorized absence before initiating penal action against the wilful defaulters," said VIMSAR director Sonamali Bag.
Incidentally, VIMSAR has one of the highest levels of absenteeism because many teachers posted there stay in Cuttack, around 300km away, and run private practices there. "Some doctors come here once or twice a week to guard their practice in Cuttack and wait till they get a transfer there," said a hospital insider.