Even as the BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh has served 100 days of its second term in office, a dispute over the transfer of doctors has come to light between Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak and Additional Chief Secretary, Medical and Health, Amit Mohan Prasad.
According to government sources, Pathak, who also holds the portfolio for medicine and health, was dissatisfied that a transfer list of physicians was made public when he was in Hyderabad attending the BJP national executive conference. When he got back, he sent a letter to Additional Chief Secretary Prasad stating that, to his knowledge, “proper protocol was not followed for transfer of doctors throughout the state.”
According to sources, Prasad responded to the minister’s letter and let him know that proper protocol had been followed in the transfers, which are typically made by the end of June each year. In fact, when Pathak questioned the government’s operations during the Covid-19 outbreak, Amit Mohan Prasad was also in charge of the health department.
When Pathak’s letter to Prasad, dated July 4, became known, the conflict came to light.
Pathak stated in his letter that the transfer protocol had not been fully observed for all transfers that had occurred during the current session. He wrote this in Hindi. Consequently, give full information on everyone who has been transferred, along with the reasons behind it.
“I have been informed,” he said, “that they have been relocated in places including Lucknow where there is a demand for specialised doctors at large hospitals, but no replacement has been assigned in their stead. The state capital of Lucknow, where there is already a shortage of specialists, receives referrals from other areas for patients who require more advanced care.
Pathak also requested information on the plans put in place to ensure that medical services continued to run smoothly after doctors were transferred “in such large numbers from prominent and big hospitals in Lucknow.”
It’s not the first time that Pathak has questioned how the state’s health department is operating; he did it during the Covid-19 outbreak as well. When he was Law Minister.
Senior government officials also declined to comment on the situation on Tuesday, despite the fact that Pathak and Prasad could not be reached.