Biometric doc attendance still on paper

The government’s plan of introducing ‘biometric’ attendance in government hospitals to keep track of errant doctors who flee for private practice before their duty hours are over, still remains on paper.

The objective of implementing the system was to make the monitoring mechanism more stringent, but the idea was never executed, giving a free run to some doctors who take advantage of the lack of supervision.

A recent media report on one of the government hospitals in the city brought to light how a group of doctors was merely signing the attendance register and leaving the hospital immediately. Sometimes, they even had their assistants signing the registers for them in their absence.

The lure of corporate hospitals has made more doctors shun the thousands of poor patients crowding the government hospitals, opines a senior doctor who has retired from government service.

“Even before noon, several professors and chiefs hurry out of their departments to their private practice in top corporate hospitals. Nobody bothers to check when they enter and leave the hospital,” he admits.

With this glaring lack of supervision, it is the house surgeons and postgraduate students who take charge, scurrying from one ward to another.

On several occasions, the trainees even perform surgeries without the watchful eye of the professors and chiefs, the doctor points out.

Another senior health official claimed that biometric attendance would bring a more organised set-up in government hospitals and help avoid corrupt practices.

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