A surprise visit to a health centre by Congress MLA Kuldeep Vats has triggered a controversy with the legislator alleging absence of doctors, and the medical staff hitting back by accusing him of issuing threats to staff on duty. The MLA as well as the doctors have complained to the government to seek action against each other.
Vats told The Indian Express that he had reached Badli’s Community Health Centre (CHC) little before 4 pm on Monday (March 30) to distribute masks to the citizens. “When I reached there, nobody was there except two nurses and a peon. The peon was drunk. I immediately called the Sub Divisional Magistrate who sent Naib Tehsildar to the spot. The health centre was in very bad shape,” said the legislator who represents Badli constituency in the Assembly.
In a complaint to the Chief Minister and the Health Minister, Vats has listed names of 11 officials, including doctors and paramedical staff members, who were “absent” from the health centre during his visit. The MLA said that he had started his visit to the health centres and thanas in the morning with a target to distribute one lakh masks. The MLA admitted that four vehicles were accompanying him adding that two of them carried masks.
Meanwhile, Senior Medical Officer Sangeeta Khurana, who is incharge of the health centre, has lodged a complaint with Jhajjar’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and the Haryana Civil Medical Services (HCMS) Association in the matter.
The Association says that the MLA along with a crowd of nearly 70 persons in 15 vehicles visited the health centre at 4:48 pm while the OPD timings of the health centre were till 4 pm. “CHC, Badli, doctors were on duty till 4 pm, after that the doctors were on call duty. staff nurses, other helping staff were found on duty for delivery of services and emergency services. MLA’s political followers abused staff on duty, MLA himself threatened class four staff on duty, he marked absent and someone among his political followers took away attendance register from SMO’s office,” mentioned a representation by the Association to the Chief Minister. The Association has sought action against the MLA under the provisions of the Epidemic Act and Section 144 of the CrPC. “Doctor fraternity is morally obliged to do duties in such emergency, but such threats and unsafe environment may lead to stringent decision by association,” it argued.
CMO Randeep Singh Poonia told The Indian Express that he has apprised the senior officers about the matter. “This time our priority is handling coronavirus outbreak and our entire focus is on our duty,” added Poonia.
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