Huge money is changing hands either for transfer or to avoid transfer in Andhra Pradesh. (DC file Image)
VIJAYAWADA: After the state health department issued an order to transfer regular employees who completed five years of service at one facility, by Feb. 28, huge money is changing hands either for transfer or to avoid transfer in Andhra Pradesh. Some unions are also deeply involved in the racket.
The health, medical and family welfare department issued GO-Rt-40 on January 28, with guidelines for transfer of regular employees this month. Accordingly, all transfers are to be made through online procedure for those who completed five years of service at a station across cadres.
Those who are transferred shall be relieved immediately on receipt of the transfer order. Under any circumstance, the person shall be deemed to have been relieved at the end of seven days from the date of receipt of the transfer order.
All the applications on transfer shall reach the competent authority by Feb. 15 and such applications are to be examined and processed on or before Feb. 18.
All the postings will be allocated online and transfer proceedings will be generated online. Several committees are constituted, headed by top health officials including the director of medical education, commissioner of APVVP, commissioner of family welfare, director of public health etc, to conduct counselling. After this, the competent authorities will issue transfer orders.
However, a section of doctors, health personnel, paramedics and office staff are availing every tactic either to move to their place of choice or to stay back on one pretext or another by bribing the higher-ups.
State health sources allege that several lakhs of rupees are changing hands in relation to these transfers. The quantum of the amount demanded as bribe depends upon the demand for one or another station to get posting order and also based on the cadre.
The recent memo issued by the health department to allow office-bearers of recognised service associations for six years to work at a station without any transfer has come in handy to several health staff to avoid transfer.
The memo mentioned that office-bearers like president, secretary, treasurer, associate president, vice president, joint secretary working at state, district and taluk units can avail this facility. The memo listed out 106 recognised associations in the state.
Accordingly, the health staff are running upto these associations to get letters from them stating that they are their officer-bearers and are eligible to seek exemption from transfer. The association leaders give such a certificate and take hefty amounts as bribe.
Though some associations are turning down such requests, several others are tempted to issue such letters by taking money. Such letters are then used to claim an exemption from transfer.
A senior health official said, "The health department intended to hold the whole exercise of transfer through online mode in a transparent manner. But, a section of health officials and personnel are resorting to the illegal practice of bribing one or the other to get either a transfer order or evade it."
Moreover, as the timing of the transfers is said to be wrong in terms of the education of children etc. Several of the health staff are trying to avoid it by citing one excuse or the other or by paying bribes."