At least one civic hospital in the city is showing some serious intent in sacking and penalising doctors who run successful private practice and yet shamelessly take non-practice allowancefrom the hospital.
Two doctors from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)-run Sion Hospital are under the scanner after it was brought to the administrators’ notice that they were carrying out private practice during their official shifts. While action was taken against one of the doctors and he was asked to leave, an inquiry has been launched against the other.
Earlier this year in July, a senior doctor from the dermatology department of the same hospital was sacked for the same offence. Action has also been taken against a professor attached who was found guilty of taking non-practice allowance from the BMC despite working with a major private hospital. The doctor, whose name has not been revealed, will not receive an increment next year and the allowances that he illegally received for the past five years, has been recovered too.
The inquiry against the professor in fact was initiated after a patient filed an RTI with the hospital demanding to know whether the doctor had applied for non-practice allowance. “The patient had approached the professor for treatment in our hospital but was called to a private clinic where he was charged a hefty fee. He then filed an RTI where it was discovered that the professor was taking non-practice allowance,” said Dr Avinash Supe, dean of the Sion Hospital.
But with some doctors still continuing similar illegal practice, an inquiry has been now launched against another professor from the hospital after it was found he was not present in the hospital during the regular working hours of 9 am to 4 pm. “We suspect the doctor is attached with a private hospital and an inquiry committee has been set up. If found guilty, he too will be penalised,” added Dr Supe.
As per BMC guidelines, doctors working with civic hospitals are not allowed to avail the non-practice allowance, which is compensation for not doing private practice. Those who work with private clinics or hospitals are allowed to do so only after their working hours and are not entitled to the special allowance.