So does the BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh 100 days of his second term completed In office, a standoff between Deputy Prime Minister Brajesh Pathak and Additional Chief Secretary for Medicine and Health Amit Mohan Prasad over the transfer of doctors has come to the fore.
Government sources said Pathak, who also has the medical and health portfolio, was unhappy that a transfer list of doctors was released while he was absent for the BJP national executive meeting in Hyderabad. On his return, he wrote to Secretary-General Prasad, stating that he had learned that “due process was not followed in the transfer of doctors across the state.”
Sources said Prasad replied to the minister’s letter, informing him that due process had been followed for these transfers, which normally take place by the end of June each year. Incidentally, Amit Mohan Prasad was also heading the health department amid the Covid-19 pandemic when Pathak raised questions about the functioning of the department.
The duel came to the fore when Pathak’s July 4 letter to Prasad was published.
In his letter, Pathak wrote in Hindi: “I am aware that no matter what transfers have taken place in the current session, the transfer policy has not been fully followed. Therefore, please provide full details of all persons who have been transferred, together with the reasons for their transfer.”
He added: “I have been informed that in districts such as Lucknow where specialist doctors are needed in major hospitals, they have been transferred but no replacement has been appointed in their place. Lucknow is the state capital where there is already a shortage of medical specialists and patients in serious condition are also referred to Lucknow from other counties for better treatment. ”
Pathak also sought details on arrangements to ensure the smooth functioning of medical services following the transfer of doctors “in such large numbers from eminent and large hospitals in Lucknow”.
This isn’t the first time Pathak has raised questions about the functioning of the state’s health department: he had done so amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He was Minister of Justice at the time.
While Pathak and Prasad could not be contacted Tuesday, senior government officials also declined to comment on the matter.