Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Saturday ordered the immediate removal of 432 medical personnel, including 385 doctors, who were on unauthorised leave for years.
Healthcare workers who are not interested in joining the service despite being given several opportunities to do so will now be removed, Health Minister K K Shailaja said in a press release.
“It is unacceptable for thousands of healthcare workers to work day and night because of the actions of a few. They are hampering the smooth functioning of the health department,” the minister added.
A total of 385 doctors, both probationers and permanent staff, have been dismissed following the government order.
In addition, five unauthorized health inspectors, four pharmacists, 20 nurses, one nursing assistant, two lab technicians, two dentists, two radiographers, and three clerks will be laid off.
Directions had been issued to the health department to identify such staff who have kept away from work for years and take strict disciplinary action against them. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the time that the services of the doctors and other health staff were needed most. It was due to this reason that the government decided to take stern action against such personnel, the statement said.
Earlier, 36 doctors in the medical education department were sacked for failing to report for work without consent.
Besides doctors, 20 nurses and five health inspectors are among those who have been removed from service.
Kerala has reported 3,25,212 COVID-19 cases so far, out of which 2,28,998 persons recovered. The remaining 95,008 patients are currently undergoing treatment.
With over 20,000 new cases being detected in the last three days, Kerala's COVID-19 case count shows no sign of relief.