Rural medical officers allege bias in assigning Covid duties - ECAS Punjab

Rural medical officers allege bias in assigning Covid duties

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Manav Mander

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7

Rural medical officers (RMOs) have accused the Health Department of discriminating with them in the allocation of Covid duties in isolation wards and flu corners. They allege dispensaries in rural areas were lying shut since the Covid outbreak, causing inconvenience to people.

They said the department was favouring their medical officers while assigning duties. Rural medical offices work under the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat.

RMO'S DEPUTED IN URBAN CENTRES

There is a resentment among the RMOs due to the biased attitude of the local health authorities. Rural dispensaries are lying non-functional for the last three months as RMOs and rural pharmacists have been deputed in urban centres on Covid duty.

Dr JP Narula, State president, Rural Medical Services Association

In Ludhiana district, there are 62 RMOs posted against 109 posts and since the Covid outbreak, all rural dispensaries have been lying shut. There are 1,186 dispensaries in the state that cater to a population of 10,000.

"The health authorities have been partial in assigning duties to the RMOs. In the duty roaster issued by the Ludhiana Civil Surgeon on June 4, three out of the four teams at the Civil Hospital are of RMOs and all 12 teams at the MCH, Vardhman, have RMOs in them. Not even one medical officer from the Health Department has been assigned for isolation wards," said Dr JP Narula, state president of the Rural Medical Services Association, Punjab. The association has demanded rationalisation of duties.

Dr Rajesh Bagga, Civil Surgeon, said nobody had been put on duty on a regular basis. "RMOs are also being put on duty after a proper gap of seven days," he said.



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