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Will Denying VRS to Doctors Assure Healthcare Service to Poor?

SC: State Can Deny VRS to Doctors to Ensure Proper Healthcare Facilities

Right To Retire Can’t Be Supreme Than Right To Life…
The Supreme Court allowed the State of Uttar Pradesh to deny voluntarily retirements to doctors while considering the fact there is a scarcity of doctors in the Provincial Health Services in the State of Uttar Pradesh and a mass voluntarily retirements by doctors is degrading the healthcare facilities to people of state. “The action of the State Government was appropriate in disallowing the prayer seeking voluntary retirement. The Government may fill the vacancies if any. But that would not bring doctors of experience at senior level and exodus of doctors cannot be permitted to weaken the services when the public interest requires to serve for the sake of efficient medical profession and fulfill Directive Principles of State Policy once they found statutory expression in the rules cannot be made mockery,” the bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer observed in their judgment.

“When services are required, denial of voluntary retirement is permissible under the Rules applicable in the State of Uttar Pradesh,” the court said.

The Supreme Court was considering an appeal filed by the UP govt. against the Allahabad High court judgment, allowing the doctors seeking voluntary retirement from the Government services. The Court ruled that the larger public interest, healthcare would prevail over the right to voluntary retirement by the doctors as healthcare services constitute right to life itself.

The doctors who are part of the Provincial Medical services and applied for VRS are Dr. Achal Singh, working as Joint Director,Medical, Health and Family Welfare, Lucknow Region; Dr. Ajay Kumar Tiwari, Joint Director, Medical, Health and Family Welfare, Devi Patan Mandal, Gonda; Dr. Rajendra Kumar Srivastava Senior Consultant and Dr. Rajiv Chaudhary,Senior Consultant at District Hospital, Raibareli.They had applied for VRS on different dates (2015-2017) but their application was not accepted by the state. They filed a writ petition at the Allahabad High Court, which ruled in the favour of the doctors. Later the UP government filed an appeal against the High Court judgement in the Supreme Court.

“In view of the scarcity of the doctors and the unfortunate privatisation and commercialisation of the noble medical profession, for maintaining the efficiency of the State Medical Services, the decision taken by the Government is permissible as per rules and cannot be interfered with,” the court ruled.

The High Court in its judgement had said that the doctors are not interested in joining the Government service when fresh recruitment take place. The High Court also noted that posts of Medical Officers are not being filled up on account of non­availability of candidates.
The High Court has also observed that the authorities must provide adequate infrastructure, working equipment, and a proper working environment. The hospitals should be made excellent centres of healthcare. It should be the object of the State Government to provide doctors with good opportunities so as to retain them in services. At the same time, the High Court also observed that in order to enhance the better medical facilities to the poor and needy people, it would be appropriate to maintain a balance between the senior and junior doctors in each Primary Health Centres in rural and urban areas. There is a need to provide continuing medical education to doctors and to hold conferences and seminars to exchange the latest views/opinions/knowledge etc. and their performance in such events should also be considered for promotion etc.

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