Money-making syndrome afflicts medical profession too
The Kerala High Court was examining a few cases that brought to light the absenteeism of doctors in the state medical service. Doctors who were bound by the Hippocratic oath took unauthorized leave from duty. It was found that those doctors were serving private medical institutions either in the state or abroad. They were getting lucrative pay packages and the State Government started initiating disciplinary action against them for unauthorised absenteeism.
When the Government removed some of the doctors from service, it was challenged in the state administrative tribunal stating that the Government committed procedural errors. When the tribunal directed to reinstate them, the Government challenged it in the High Court. The High Court did not agree with the tribunal regarding reinstatement but directed the Government to conduct departmental enquiry in accordance with procedures. The Government had failed to conduct proper enquiry. No opportunity was given for the doctors to put forth their case when Government said that it was time consuming. The High Court did not accept such a contention. There can be action only in accordance with the rules and provisions, the High Court observed.
The HC criticised that because of the money making syndrome, the poor persons who go to medical colleges for treatment are deprived of the best treatment as many of the doctors are hunting for greener pastures and lucrative postings in private sectors or abroad. So the people in the lower strata are put to hardship.