Bihar : The autonomous institute, Indira Gandhi of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) will hire private detectives to investigate the private practice of its doctors and will terminate the guilty. The proposal has been accepted by the board of governors headed by Health of Minister Mangal Pandey, on Friday.
The authority took this decision on the view some of it’s doctors might be practicing privately despite claiming NPA, a special kind of allowance for medical professionals occupying the posts in medical services.
Allegedly, a majority of 300 faculty members out of 550 doctors also practice privately in spite of claiming NPA, that constitutes 20% of their salary.
Dr. Niranjan Biswas, director of the IGIMS, said, “It is an open secret that some of our doctors are into private practice, which they are not supposed to. We want to put an end to this practice by taking stern action against those who indulge in it. This is a step in that direction. We need support from the government to enforce it so that the institute can develop as a medical center of excellence in the state.”
He added, “We have assiduously built our reputation over the last few years and are now trying to consolidate it. We have no choice, as we receive 10-20 applications against any positions we advertise. The institute is not prepared to be blackmailed anymore. We will terminate the services of those indulging in private practice.”
According to a media report, IGIMS has not succeeded in penalizing any such doctor since its inception in 1983 but came close to do so in 2014 when its flying squad caught 6 out of its 29 doctor under scanner. Although, the principal secretary, health, gave an assurance of strict action, the culprits still used their influence and were bailed off with a warning.
A couple of senior professors at IGIMS – a urologist and a gastroenterologist – took voluntary retirement in 2014 and 2017 after the confrontation of the administration.
The state government banned private practice across its facilities and paid NPA to its doctors for a limited period of 11 months between March 1, 2000 and February 2001, before withdrawing it.