The Kerala health department has decided to sack 30 doctors on unauthorised absence from the four government medical colleges in the state. The government had identified 78 doctors attached to the medical colleges in Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Kozhikode who have not reported for duty for years.
The government had given an ultimatum to many of these doctors – most of them have found work in private hospitals in the state or outside India – to report for duty. As many as 27 doctors have agreed to do so while 30 docs face the boot for defying the order.
The department plans to given an ultimatum to the remaining 21 absentee doctors. The four major medical colleges in the state have a shortage of 200 doctors, including those on unauthorised absence.
The Kottayam medical college is the most affected with 90 vacancies. Kozhikode has 36 vacancies.
Even nurses have gone on unauthorised leave from the government medical colleges. As many as 173 nurses are on long leave from the Kozhikode, Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram medical colleges. Most of them have bunked work within months of joining duty.
As many as 98 absentee nurses are thought to be working abroad while keeping the government jobs in Kerala.
The Kozhikode medical college is short of 145 staff nurses while the Alappuzha medical college is short of 25 nurses.
As many as 246 doctors’ posts are vacant in the district hospitals across Kerala and in various speciality cadres. Palakkad is short of 59 government doctors, while Kozhikode is short of 34 and Kottayam 30.