AWOL: Health department to suspend absent doctors

Those on unofficial leave asked to return to original place of duty.


Umer Farooq May 01, 2015
Those on unofficial leave asked to return to original place of duty. STOCK IMAGE

PESHAWAR: The health department is likely to suspend doctors who are on ‘unofficial’ leave.

According to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa health department officials, authorities had earlier ordered doctors on leave to report back to their original place of duty, however, it is yet to compile data on the number of individuals who are on official or unofficial leave.

“There are a number of doctors who have been working outside the country; specifically in Gulf countries,” an official said, requesting anonymity. The exact number, according to the official, was unknown. He said the department was still collecting data from different hospitals and will soon issue fresh directions.

K-P Health Services Director General Dr Pervez Kamal confirmed to The Express Tribune that the data could not be gathered and remains incomplete. He added those with no-objection certificates would return once they complete their official leave.

“We are concerned with those who have not obtained permission from the health department and were on unofficial leave,” said Kamal.

Another health official concurred that the data of those on official and unofficial leave will be collected and then a separate list of those found absent from duty without informing the department will be created. “Once this information is compiled, those who had obtained official permission will not be asked to return, but those absent for some time without official leave are likely to be served notices,” said the official.

Official health ministry sources said the department had already issued notices to some individuals. They added repeat notices were also sent to those who failed to reply, adding a third one would also be dispatched soon.

“If someone fails to reply even after the third notice, those doctors’ names will be advertised in newspapers,” one of the sources said. “If they fail to take note of the advertisement as well, then their services will be suspended.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2015.

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