Self-discipline and punctuality are qualities that are necessary in every profession, especially of that of doctors and healthcare practitioners. In last few months, Rajasthan health department officials received several complaints regarding irregular attendance of healthcare staff and doctors appointed in Rajasthan hospitals. A few doctors and nurses arrive late at work but they leave early thus, avoiding their duties in process. To tighten noose around unpunctual staff, Health Minister Kalicharan Saraf decided to introduce biometric attendance system in Rajasthan hospitals.

The list includes all district hospitals, sub-district hospitals and satellite hospitals. Even the primary and community health centres (PHCs and CHCs) in Rajasthan will follow the new biometric attendance system.

What is Biometric System for Attendance?

A biometric attendance system recognises a person based on physical attributes that are unique to his identity. It normally includes fingerprint matching or Iris recognition (tracing eye pattern).

As announced by the health minister, all hospitals falling under Rajasthan health directorate will have the new biometric attendance system installed by February 15. All doctors, nurses, lab technicians and other staff will punch their attendance through this system. The hospitals have to install new attendance machines using funds arranged by the medical relief society.

Some Hospitals in Rajasthan Already Follow the Biometric Attendance System

All government hospitals and health centres in Pali have already implemented the biometric attendance system for government hospitals. In fact, Pali was the first district in Rajasthan that has installed around 106 biometric machines in every hospital. There are around 83 PHCs, 21 CHCs, 1 district and 1 sub-district hospital in Pali.

The doctors, nurses and the entire medical staff has to punch their attendance on the biometric system. Each machine costs around Rs 2,000. The funds for their purchase and installation were procured from Rajasthan Medical Relief Society’s fund. Not only this, the district health officers also conduct regular inspections to see if the staff is performing their duty well.

Even SMS hospital (Sawai Man Singh) at Jaipur made it compulsory for its staff to punch their attendance on the fingerprint punch machines.

Why is this System Necessary?

When health officers conducted surprise inspections in government hospitals, they discovered that the staff is negligent towards their duties. Therefore, the machines were installed to monitor their activities. In Pali, when the doctors fail to reach on time, they’re marked absent and that day is struck off from their casual leaves (CLs).

Though there are responsible doctors too, who take their job seriously. Nevertheless, it’s necessary for the authorities to take strict action against the offenders. Hopefully, this system will make the health practitioners realise the gravity of their work.

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