The CIC asked the principal secretary of Delhi's Health and Family Welfare department to specify if the department takes any action against unqualified doctors employed in public hospitals. This is the 105th in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application
The Central Information Commission (CIC), while allowing an appeal, directed the principal secretary of the Health & Family Welfare (H&FW) department at the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), to fix the responsibility for not revealing the orders of First Appellate Authority (FAA). The CIC also asked the principal secretary to specify whether the department takes any reasonable action when complaints are made about unqualified doctors being employed in public hospitals.
While giving this judgement on 23 July 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “It is really scandalous that in spite of clear knowledge that some contract doctors may not be qualified form any recognized institution, the H&FW department appears to be colluding in continuing this. This can be a major hazard for public health.”
Delhi resident MK Jain, on 2 June 2008 sought information regarding action taken against certain doctors who did not possess required educational qualifications, from the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the H&FW department. Here is the information he sought under the RTI (Right to Information) Act and the reply provided by the PIO...
1. Does a junior specialist working under the Govt of Delhi in various specialties require a degree/diploma recognized Medical Council of India? i.e. Medical Council of India recognition of a degree or diploma in various specialties is compulsory or not?
(i). as per schedule 6 of CHS Rules for the appointment of specialist (non-teaching) the educational qualifications specify that the candidate for the post of specialist (non-teaching) must possess a recognized medical qualification, included in the first or second schedule or part II of the third schedule (other than licentiate qualifications) to the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, holders of educational qualifications included in part II of the third schedule should also fulfil the conditions stipulated Medical Council Act, 1956.
(ii) Post graduate degree/diploma in the concerned specialty mentioned in Section-A or Section -B in schedule-IV or equivalent.
(iii) Three years’ experience in the concerned specialty after obtaining the post-graduate degree or five years’ experience after obtaining the post-graduate diploma.
Accordingly this office advertises the posts of Jr Specialists recently which is a practice adopted by the department for these posts.
2. If yes, then what is the fate of a junior specialist working in different hospitals under the Govt of Delhi without a medical council of India recognized degree/diploma if any?
PIO's reply: There is no such case in the knowledge of department. However, any specific case may be brought to the notice of this department.
Not satisfied with the PIO's reply, Jain filed his first appeal. In his order, the First Appellate Authority (FAA), said, “...However, irrespective of the issue whether PIO and additional secretary (H&FW) had replied to the appellant in response to a fresh application under Section 6 of RTI Act or suo-moto, she may furnish the clear information sought by the application viz. what action has been taken against Dr Shipra Rampal and Dr Amit Sharma against whom MK Jain informed to the Superintendent of H&FW that they did not possess the required recognized degree/diploma and other similarly situated persons, if any”.
Jain then approached the Commission with his second appeal in which he stated that he made a series of correspondent to the PIO concerned, but the information sought by him was not provided. “The reply given (by the PIO) was incomplete and not up to the satisfaction vide their reply no2578 dated 23 June 2008,” he said.
During the hearing before the bench of Mr Gandhi, the deemed PIO stated, that he has not complied with the direction of Rakesh Behari, the FAA and principal secretary of H&FW. The PIO and the deemed PIO both claimed that they were unaware of the order of the FAA and they discovered this order a day before the hearing.
The deemed PIO further stated that he had find out that no action has been taken in spite of very serious charge levied by Jain and the department was still enquiring whether the charges were correct are not.
The department has written to the secretary, Medical Council of India on 1 October 2008, 20 December 2008 and number of times subsequently the last letter was sent on 19 May 2009, the PIO stated.
He also produced a letter dated 31 October 2008 before the Commission. The letter stated, “Kindly refer to your letter noF2(406)/ Estt./ BJRHM/ Estt./ 07/ 5377 dated 31 October 2008, on the subject noted above, I am directed to inform you that MD (Radio-Diagnosis) qualification granted by Bundelkhand University in respect of students being trained by MLB Medical College, Jhansi is not recognized by the Council.”
The deemed PIO stated that since August 2008 various notings have been made by various people such as special secretary of H&FW, superintendent of H&FW and joint secretary of H&FW.
Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted that in spite of the categorical comment that the doctor working with the institution does not have a valid degree form a recognized institution, the authorities are claimed again of setting a continuous enquiry and not taking any action.
“...the claim of the PIO and deemed PIO that the order of the Principal Secretary was never revealed to them indicates the working of the department has been completely unstructured. It is indeed a very dangerous situation that the department does not have any system to ensure that order are known to various officers and in-spite of clear evidence that unqualified doctors are being let loss on citizens they appear to be colluding in this,” the CIC said.
While allowing the appeal, he then gave the copy of the file notings on this matter brought by deemed PIO to Jain.
The Commission directed the PIO to send the information to the appellant before 30 July 2009 indicating if any action has been taken or no action has been taken and also send a copy of this to the Commission.
Mr Gandhi, the CIC, also directed JP Singh, the principal secretary of H&FW department to enquire into this matter and send a report to the Commission before 15 August 2009. “This report will specify who was responsible for the FAA’s order not being revealed to the PIO and deemed PIO and whether the department takes any reasonable action when complaints are made about unqualified doctors being employed in public hospitals,” the CIC said in its order.
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001415/4238
Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001415
Appellant : MK Jain
Respondent : Rashmi Krishnan
Public Information Officer,
Govt. of NCT of Delhi,
Health & Family Welfare Department,
9th Level, A-Wing, Delhi Secretariat,
IP Estate, New Delhi -110002
Overall, the PMI suggests the economy is in a weak growth/low inflation environment
India’s manufacturing PMI moderated to 50.1 in May from 51 in April. In Q2 (Apr-
May), the PMI has averaged 50.6 versus 53.1 in Q1, suggesting that the manufacturing growth momentum weakened early in Q2, dashing hopes of a recovery. The decline has been attributed to a slower pace of new work and continuing power outages.
Though the May reading was the lowest since March 2009, the overall index has held above the watershed 50 level that divides growth from contraction.
The output index fell into the sub-50 contraction zone, at 48.6. Export new orders picked up in May, but domestic new orders were weaker, data from a survey by Markit Economics and HSBC Bank showed.
Weak growth is reflected in falling prices, with both input and output prices lower this month. In fact, the output price index fell below 50 to 49.8, suggesting a sharp fall in core inflation ahead. Overall, the PMI suggests the economy is in a weak growth/low inflation environment.
Commenting on the India Manufacturing PMI survey, Leif Eskesen, chief economist for India & ASEAN at HSBC said: “Economic activity in the manufacturing sector slowed further in May as output contracted in response to softer domestic orders. In addition, power outages hampered output and led to a jump in backlogs of work as businesses struggled to meet orders. Inflation gauges also eased, and output prices even fell in sequential terms on the back of tougher competition and receding raw material prices. These numbers have heightened the probability that the RBI will fire another salvo at its June policy meeting.”
As the economy weakens, so does the ability of companies, consumers and countries to pay back what they have borrowed. It is not just the fear of rising interest rates that can prick a bubble. What can bring an end to the bull market is simpler: the fear of losing money
Investors in the US bond market experienced their worst monthly loss since December 2010. Despite the continuing easy money policies of the Federal Reserve (Fed), bond yields have moved up from 1.6% to 2.2% in May. Is this the beginning of the end? Is there a bond bubble? If so, has it burst?
Central bankers and famous economist would argue that it has not. Western central bankers have issued an estimated $7 trillion worth of quantitative easing, about equal to the GDP (gross domestic product) of China. This has pushed interest rates down to historic lows. Generally when bond yields get this low, or their prices get this high, they represent a losing proposition. The last time the Federal Reserve owned a large chunk of the US government bonds market was in 1945. In that year, yields on American Treasury Bonds were also just 2%. Investors who bought those bonds did not see a gain in purchasing power until 1989. The only exception has been Japan where, thanks to deflation, 2% bonds still have a positive return at least until now.
In theory we don’t have to worry about bond bubbles because the central banks have infinite fire power to force yields down. A few key strokes and there are another trillion dollars or yen to buy up bonds. Paul Krugman, the Nobel Laureate economist and columnist, rests his case against bond bubbles on this idea.
His argument is that there isn’t a bond bubble created by the Fed because the Fed won’t let there be a bond bubble. The bubble won’t burst because the Fed won’t let interest rates rise during periods of high unemployment and low inflation. We should not worry about historically low interest rates because the economy is in such terrible shape. With a bad economy “the usual rules about what constitutes a reasonable level of interest rates don’t apply.”
But isn’t that the point? If the rules don’t apply, how can we assume that the Fed can prevent a bubble? The argument is circular. We assume that the Fed can prevent any problem that crops up. But the problem is that the Fed does not operate in a closed system. History is the only place to begin a forecast, but it is imperfect because the environment keeps changing. An integrated global economic system introduces issues far beyond the US economy, the limit of the Federal Reserve’s mandate.
There is another issue. The Fed has suppressed interest rates. Let us assume that the Federal Reserve will continue to do so even though rates have already risen in both the US and Japan. The assumption is that if the Fed can prevent interest rates from rising, there won’t be an issue. But there is another aspect to bonds than just interest rates. A more important aspect: solvency. Interest rates could easily rise regardless of central banks, if investors are worried about getting their money back. As a result of the Fed’s distortion of the market and risk, the question of solvency is more important than ever. So even if the US government bond market is not a bubble does not mean they don’t exist.
The first candidate would be Asia. The global hunt for yield has made raising money in Asia easier than ever. Companies which never could have issued bonds are now issuing them at a rapid rate. Since the beginning of last year the number of Asian companies issuing local currency debt for the first time has risen to 20% of the market. In the US and Europe the proportion is usually 3%. The Asian debt market has doubled in size to $6.5 trillion since the end of 2008. It is not just companies. Consumer debt has grown even more rapidly than corporate debt. In Malaysia it has grown to 76.6% of GDP from 65.9% in 2007. In the US consumer debt has fallen from 100% in 2007 to 85% now.
It is argued that Asian debt growth is simply following the economic and demographic growth. But economics and demographics do not determine risk. Risk is a function of the probability of getting repaid. Getting your money back is determined by institutional efficiency. Economic growth diminishes the probability of reform, so institutional efficiency has not kept up.
It is not just Asian corporations and consumers. The hunt for yield has spread money to new sovereign borrowers. The sovereign debts of peripheral European countries have been shown to be questionable, but at least these countries do have revenues. Rwanda just issued its first bonds, $400 million, to finance a new conference centre. Rwanda gets a large part of its revenue from gifts of aid. Rwanda is not alone. Honduras and Mongolia have recently issued debt. These countries barely have institutions.
The bubble in bonds is also in the level of risk accepted for Western debtors. The returns on “high yield” or junk bonds have reached a historic low of 5.39%. The alphabet soup of financial products has reappeared. We have a return of structured finance. There is a great demand for the demand for collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), and an even greater demand for commercial mortgage-backed securities, (CMBS). These debt are being issued with ever fewer creditor protections. The number “cov-lite” loans has increased to more than 50% of all leveraged loan issuance so far this year, double the level during the credit boom in 2007.
Apparently the global economy has not gotten the memo. Despite the central bank cash, it has refused to be stimulated. The International Monetary Fund trimmed its global growth forecast last month and recently did the same for its forecast of the Chinese economy. As the economy weakens, so does the ability of companies, consumers and countries to pay back what they have borrowed. It is not just the fear of rising interest rates that can prick a bubble. What can bring an end to the bull market is simpler: the fear of losing money.
(William Gamble is president of Emerging Market Strategies. An international lawyer and economist, he developed his theories beginning with his first hand experience and business dealings in the Russia starting in 1993. Mr Gamble holds two graduate law degrees. He was educated at Institute D'Etudes Politique, Trinity College, University of Miami School of Law, and University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. He was a member of the bar in three states, over four different federal courts and has spoken four languages.)