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IAS officers, govt doctors lock horns in Kerala over Thiruvananthapuram collector availing treatment at home

While the IAS officers' Association Kerala chapter is defending Thiruvananthapuram district collector Geromic George, who availed home treatment, by citing provisions of the All India Services (Medical Attendance) Rules, service organisations of doctors and government employees are of the view that the collector's action did not come under the purview of the said provisions.
Last Updated : 15 May 2024, 14:01 IST
Last Updated : 15 May 2024, 14:01 IST

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Thiruvananthapuram: The recent row over an IAS officer in Kerala seeking a government doctor's service at home for his nail infection has ignited a debate whether there is any provisions for the officers to avail treatment at their residences.

While the IAS officers' Association Kerala chapter is defending Thiruvananthapuram district collector Geromic George, who availed home treatment, by citing provisions of the All India Services (Medical Attendance) Rules, service organisations of doctors and government employees are of the view that the collector's action did not come under the purview of the said provisions.

IAS officers' Association Kerala chapter president B Ashok defended George by citing rule eight of All India Services (Medical Attendance) Rules on 'treatment at residence', which says that a civil service officer could be provided treatment at home in case suitable hospital is not available in the nearby area or the illness is too severe.

However, the doctors' forums and service organisations are countering that George's illness does not come under these provisions. There was no absence of hospitals nearby and nail infection could not be considered as a severe illness.

The fresh row also triggered discussions whether the provisions of the All India Service Rules drafted decades ago are still relevant.

Even as the collector's action triggered widespread resentment in the society, the government is yet to take any action. Instead, a service organisation leader, Jayachandran Kallingal, who openly flayed the collector on the media, has been issued a charge memo. The doctor who treated the collector is also being widely criticised for breaching medical ethics by making public the ailment of his patient.

George sought the home service of a doctor through the District Medical Officer on May 4. It was alleged that a doctor from the district general hospital was pressured to go to the collector's residence and provide treatment. Kerala Government Medical Officers' Association later claimed that hundreds of patients had to wait at the outpatient wing as the doctor on OP duty was compelled to treat the collector at home.

The government is awaiting a report from the health department on the matter to take further decisions.

This is not the first time that George, who recently won the Kerala government's award for best district collector, is facing allegations of abusing his official position. It was alleged earlier that a lift at the collectorate used to be kept reserved for him when he starts from his residence.

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Published 15 May 2024, 14:01 IST

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