Health workers carry out administrative tasks in Bogtan, DotiAuthorities say they are being compelled to hand over the responsibility of ward secretaries to health workers due to a lack of employees.
Dharma Singh Bam is a health worker by profession. His main duty as a health worker is to treat patients and manage the Satfari Health Post in Bogtan Rural Municipality Ward No. 4. But Bam is currently working as a ward secretary in Bogtan Rural Municipality, as directed by the rural municipal office in Doti district.
“I am a technical person who examines patients and prescribe medicines. But now, I am preparing recommendation letters, implementing the budget, distributing social security allowance and carrying out day-to-day administrative works in the ward office,” says Bam.
Similarly, Prem Bogati is an auxiliary health worker of Gaguda Health Post, but he is working as the health coordinator as well as the ward secretary. According to him, he doesn’t have the experience to run the administration of the local unit, but he is still doing the job. “The rural municipality handed me the responsibility citing that there were no other employees in the local unit,” said Bogati.
Like Bam and Bogati, there are other health workers in charge of administrative work in Dhirkamandu, Chawarachautara, Simchor and Kedarakhada.
There are seven wards in the Bogtan Rural Municipality. Among them, health workers are working as ward secretaries in all the wards except Ward No. 3. Shankar Suchikar, chief administrative officer of the rural municipality, said that they have been compelled to hand over the responsibility of ward secretaries to health workers due to a lack of employees. “Out of the 33 government posts in the rural municipality, 30 are vacant. Three people are bearing the responsibility of almost all wards and rural municipal office here,” said Suchikar, adding that the concerned government agency neither deploys employees nor allows them to appoint. “It’s difficult to perform day-to-day administrative work without employees.”
Bogtan Rural Municipality is one of the most remote rural municipalities in the district. According to Kamal Gadsila, chairman of the rural municipality, most of the government employees don’t wish to stay or be transferred to the area. He said, “Service seekers are also facing difficulties due to this employee crunch, as they don’t receive government services on time.”
According to him, employees who were supposed to join the office after the government’s employee adjustment programme have not arrived in the district yet.