KOZHIKODE: The medical education department (DME) has given a 15-day ultimatum to 57 doctors of the government medical colleges who are on unauthorised leave for years. A showcause notice issued by the additional chief secretary said that if the erring doctors do not report within 15 days, their services would be terminated. Among the doctors, including professors and lecturers, 15 last worked at Kottayam medical college, 11 at Alappuzha medical college, seven each at Kozhikode and Thrissur medical colleges and four at Manjery medical college.
"Their unauthorised absence has been posing a major problem in promotion and reporting vacancy to the Public Service Commission. Many intimations had been sent to them, but to no avail," said DME director Dr A. Remla Beevi. The unauthorised leave of the doctors extends from nine years to one year. According to sources, the majority of them are practising abroad and a few in private hospitals in and outside the state. Kozhikode Medical College (KMCH) principal Dr. V.R. Rajendran said that there are 20 vacancies in the college--12 of professors and the rest of associate professors.
"We have temporarily filled the vacancies under contract basis to escape the Medical Council of India screening," he said. The anaesthesiology department of KMCH has 14 vacancies. "The office staff at DME are responsible for the situation. They are siding with those having influence. An assistant professor joined in 2015, worked for a day and went on leave for 89 days citing education purpose. She was into a fellowship of a private hospital in Kochi which was to promote her career. After 89 days, she came for a day and again went on leave. Now she is a faculty in the same private hospital. Even after new doctors appointed by the PSC came, she was reluctant to give a written statement that she was not coming back. That attitude was due to political influence," said the head of the department of a medical college.