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Soon, biometric attendance for doctors across state

Kolkata: In a bid to check absenteeism of doctors, the state Health Department is all set to introduce biometric attendance system in all the medical colleges, super-specialty hospitals and also the district and sub-divisional hospitals across the state from later half of this month.
The move has been taken by the state government to fix more accountability of the doctors. There were a few complaints coming in from the district and sub-divisional hospitals that some doctors do not visit the hospitals on a regular basis while some others do not enter the premises on time resulting in health services being affected.
It may be mentioned that the biometric attendance system has already been installed in various government departments. Now, the doctors at the state-run medical colleges and hospitals and in the districts will be brought within the system which, many believe, will benefit the common people.
A section of doctors especially the non-teaching ones is however sceptical over the future of the new system. They expressed their confusion over the introduction of the biometric system as they claim it would have an adverse impact on them for certain reasons. The teaching doctors and senior ones would remain unaffected by the move. It is the Registered Medical Officers (RMO) and non-teaching doctors who will face inconvenience only because they often attend emergency patients on call during night hours. Will they be allowed to record their attendance during late night, asked the doctors? A section of non-teaching doctors said after performing normal duties, they often get calls for emergency duties and treat patients during late night hours. After treating the patient, they get released from the hospitals early next morning. Under the existing system, the RMOs or the non-teaching doctors who attend emergency patients during the night even after extending service throughout the day sometimes take leave on the next day or join duty in the latter half of the day.
If the biometric attendance is introduced, these doctors again have to come to the hospital the next morning even after attending emergency patients throughout the night. They claim that a huge number of patients are availing the health services in the state-run medical colleges, super-specialty hospitals and the district hospitals and they are already overburdened with the pressure.
If the non-teaching staff and RMOs have to join duty the next morning after performing emergency duties the previous night, it would adversely affect the health condition of these doctors.
The non-teaching doctors have demanded some relaxation on the duty hours if they attend emergency patients on call the previous night.
Dr Ajay Chakraborty, Director of Health Service said: "The matter of biometric attendance for doctors is still under process. We will consider all the issues related to the doctors."
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