Malappuram: Exposing serious pitfalls in the assessment and implementation of various health programmes in the district, the medical officers and top technical officers of the department have embarked on a tug of war for a seat on the dais in the monthly district-level assessment meetings. The clash between the officers has forced a section of programme officers to go on a non-cooperation protest against the alleged ‘untouchability’ towards them in assessment meetings.
The meeting is meant to assess the progress of the implementation of various health programmes, including vaccination drive, and to plan further actions for the month. The Kerala Health Inspectors Organisation (KHIO) and Kerala Health Inspectors Union KHIU) have jointly came up with an allegation on Tuesday that a section of medical officers was showing untouchability towards the top technical officers who have no medical degrees.
They said that this was a violation of a government order issued in 2004 in which the procedures of all the meetings of the health department are explained in detail. “Usually the programme officers who are in charge of particular programmes also share the dais with top medical officers. However, during the district -level assessment meeting held on July 11, the DMO had directed the programme officers to sit out of the dais. This is harassment. All the officers had shared the same dais during all the previous meetings too,” says M. Shahul Hameed, district secretary of the KHIO.
He added that all the concerned programme officers should be treated as per the work they did. Meanwhile, DMO Dr. V Ummer Farook said that Director of Health Services had directed to allow only officers up to the rank of Assistant Directors on the dais. “I have sought an explanation from the programme officers who boycotted this month’s conference,” Dr Farook said. The State Secretary of Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA) Dr. A.K. Rauf has pointed out that accommodating all the non-medical officers on the dais of the district level meeting was a precedent which has been continued only in Malappuram for long.