Post of Director in Kerala Health Department remains vacant for one year

Thiruvananthapuram: The post of director has been remaining vacant in the State Health Department for almost one year. The absence of a director put further pressure on the health department, which is facing criticism for recent lapses on the part of the staff, leading to the death of an organ recipient at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College.

The post has been vacant since the voluntary retirement of former director Dr Saritha in April 2021. Currently, the additional director is in charge of the health department director. As a result, it is speculated that the health department struggles to utilise the funds or make adequate decisions. Additionally, the posts of Additional Director(Medical), Additional Director (Vigilance), and DMO Thiruvananthapuram are also vacant.

The deputy directors are assigned temporarily to the vacant posts of additional directors. The absence of officials had left the health department struggling to cope with the ongoing crisis.

It was alleged that the intervention of some government officials and political figures downgraded the role of the director in the health department. Before Covid-19, the role of the director was pivotal in influencing the department.

In a meeting held in February 2021, the chief secretary criticized the performance of the then-director.

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