Absentee doctors are a major problem in India, with almost forty percent of the country’s medical workforce absent on a typical day.

Doctors who are absent without leave in Kerala have been served an ultimatum: return to work, or face termination.

The directive was given earlier this week by Shilaja, Minister of State for Health, Because he had asked absentees in the state to resume their pledges by Sunday, otherwise, they would be fired. The alert was issued to 483 doctors who were on leave without proper authorization, as well as fifty absentee state health department officials, Earlier this year, Kerala terminates 36 doctors from service after they failed to resume their posts after a similar ultimatum.

”Shalija said”, ”It will not be further expanded, for those who have not been able to join duty again to date, the government is giving another chance no more time will be given to them and doctors who fail to rejoin will be terminated.”

India’s shortage of doctors is exacerbated by absenteeism within the medical fraternity. Research published in 2011 suggested that almost forty percent of medical service providers including doctors are absent from work on a typical day. To deal with this problem, stern action against absentee doctors is required, as seen in the Kerala where Shaliji has said that the once-empty positions will be reported to the State Public Service Commission.

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