Paid 2 lakh a month, yet no Covid duties for re-employed staff

Paid 2 lakh a month, yet no Covid duties for re-employed staff

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 31

When needed the most, re-employed professors at the Government Medical College (GMC) here have reportedly been exempted from Covid-19 duties. They have been purportedly exempted owing to their age and co-morbidities.

‘Age factor’

A majority of re-employed professors are aged above 62 years and have co-morbidities. Therefore, we have not included them in the duty roster. Paras Pandove, MS, Govt Rajindra Hospital

However, the professors are adding a monthly burden of more than Rs 1 crore on the state exchequer. Presently, total 46 professors — each getting between Rs 2 and 3 lakh per month — have been re-employed at the two medical colleges — GMC, Patiala and Amritsar.

Ironically, they have not been performing even their regular duties to avoid exposure to potential Covid patients.

An assistant professor at the GMC, Patiala, said, “No Covid duties and no online classes during the lockdown. The re-employed professors are getting Rs 2 to 3 lakh per month for doing nothing.” The doctor further said the government could recruit around five medical officials for the salary of one re-employed doctor, who would also perform Covid duties.

Dr Paras Pandove, Medical Superintendent, Government Rajindra Hospital, said they had exempted the re-employed professors from Covid duties as of now. He said, “A majority of them are aged above 62 years and have co-morbidities. Therefore, we have not included them in the duty roster.”

As per the attendance register, which The Tribune has a copy of, re-employed professors have been marked absent on a number of days. In fact, they are said to be coming after three to four days to the college. They marked their attendances from back date, sources said. In some cases, re-employed professors had taken the attendance register at their residences, the sources said.

Professors of three departments — plastic surgery, medicine and paediatrics — have already complained to the principal that the register was not available in the department to mark the attendance.

A senior member of the regular faculty said, “The retired doctors are not coming. They are still holding administrative powers, which is against the rules.”

Dr Harjinder Singh, principal, Government Medical College, Patiala, said, “A few re-employed professors are working in the logistics committee. Moreover, they are doing routine OPD duties.”

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