The Odisha government has served notices to 613 doctors in Odisha for leaving their place of duty without authorization for a long period. These doctors have been asked to personally receive the charges from the department within 10 days and submit a written statement of defense within 20 days. Health and Family Welfare Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said, "The government has instituted departmental proceedings against the absentee medical officers under Rule 15 of Odisha Civil Services (Classification, Control & Appeal) Rules, 1962."
A notice from the health and family welfare department said, "Attempts have been made to ascertain their addresses to communicate to them but their whereabouts could not be known as they have not intimated their addresses either to their immediate authorities or to the director of health services, Odisha or director, medical education and training."
The notice added that any doctor, who would ignore the notice and fail to respond within the stipulated period, will be liable to further departmental proceedings. A senior official of the department said, "We have reports that some doctors, appointed in government health institutions, are working in private medical colleges and hospitals. We will certainly take action against them. The government would examine the cases where the medical officers did not turn up at their new places of posting. Some doctors were working in different government medical colleges and district headquarters despite their transfer to Kalahandi, Bolangir, Koraput and other remote areas."
In January, 2015, the state government had dismissed 52 doctors for prolonged absence from duty. Even though the Odisha health department has decided to pay double salary to doctors working in remote and inaccessible areas of the state, many doctors are not willing to join duty in such areas, affecting the health services.