Pramesh S Jain & Yogesh K Porwar
The Health Department has taken a big step to increase accountability of its staff by implementing biometric attendance system.
Under the new system,the salaries of officers, doctors and staff will be based on the attendance.
This will bring a qualitative change in the department by ushering more discipline, accountability and efficiency,said Health and Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar.
Speaking to reporters after the Health Department’s review meeting on Monday, Sudhakar said that he had received several complaints from elected representatives and members of the public that doctors and other staff were not available at hospitals and office during working hours.
The indiscipline of government officials will impact delivery of public healthcare services.
So,I have given instructions to cut the salary of those who weren’t present during working hours.
All hospitals and other offices under the Health Department will be installed with a biometric attendance system (AEBS) which will record the attendance based on the Aadhar Card of the doctors,officers and staff,he said.
Biometric attendance had been stopped due to COVID-19,but,it has again been made mandatory from the past two months.
This has been conveyed through several meetings and circulars.However,some staffers and officers still haven’t been registering biometric attendance.
Now,a proper warning and an order has been issued.If anyone fails to register biometric attendance,they will be marked absent and will receive a pay cut, he said.
Responsibility of the DDO
It is the responsibility of all DDOs (salary drawing officer) to check all AEBS under their jurisdiction and submit a report on providing salaries to the concerned DHO.
They will inspect the report and provide directions about releasing and withholding salaries.Higher officers will inspect the work of DHOs.
If anyone is found to have less than 80% attendance, their payment will be withheld and further actions will be taken.
In case they have an attendance of 80%, the salary will be released and they will be questioned about the reason for the 20% absence and a notice will be served.
If the reason for absence is genuine,the matter will be closed.In case,the information is false,a portion of the pay will be reduced from the next month’s salary.
If salaries are given without verifying the attendance,the DDOs will be held responsible and action will be taken against them.If the supervision is improper,action will also be taken against the DHO.
In the weekly review of the Health Department,a review about the attendance and salaries will also be taken.
If there is any lacuna in the implementation of the new rule, strict action will be taken.
The doctors,officers and staff have been instructed to register their attendance thrice a day.Separate times have been set for hospitals and offices,Minister Sudhakar said.
“Timetable for attendance:
1. Administration offices: 10 am, 1 pm and 5.30 pm.
2. Hospitals: 9 am, 1 pm and 4.30 pm.
3. Those working in shifts at hospitals.
a. First shift: 8 am, 11 am and 2 pm.
b. Second shift: 2 pm, 5 pm and 8 pm.
c. First shift: 8 pm, 12 am and 8 am (next day).
4. Special circumstances (Accident, Emergency. service and surgeries): In case doctors and attending staff can’t register their attendance thrice a day due to special circumstances,the district surgeon or administrating medical officers can provide exemptions on those days. However,a mandatory attendance has to be registered at entry and exit.
Dr.Sudhakar appreciated Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare Department D.Randeep for leading by example in registering biometric attendance sincerely.
Total number of institutions under the Health Department: 3,230.
Total number of officers and staff: 65,318.