The government has issued orders removing from service 432 employees of the Health Service, including 385 doctors, for unauthorised absence from service.
An official release issued by the office of Health Minister K.K. Shylaja said the steps to dismiss these employees were taken as they had not shown any inclination to rejoin service despite several opportunities.
At a time when the COVID pandemic necessitated an increased requirement of human resources in the Health Department, the unauthorised absence of employees was preventing the Health Service from recruiting additional personnel.
Earlier, 36 doctors in the Medical Education Service too had been dismissed from service for unauthorised absence.
Directives had been given to the department to find those employees on unauthorised absence and take stringent disciplinary action against them, Ms. Shylaja said in the statement.
The 385 doctors being dismissed included probationers and permanent employees. The other 47 employees included health inspectors, pharmacists, filaria inspector, staff nurses, nursing assistants, dental hygienists, lab technicians, radiographers, optometrists, hospital attenders, record librarians, PHN tutor, and clerks.
At a time when COVID-9 was ravaging through the State and thousands of healthcare workers are tirelessly working on the front lines for disease containment and patient care, it cannot be justified that so many are staying away. The absence of human resources in these committed posts has been hampering health service delivery and at the same time depriving employment opportunities of many others, the statement said.
Though these employees had been given several opportunities to rejoin service and the matter advertised widely through various media, very few had replied and fewer had joined back.