Assam Government Imposes Restrictions on Private Practice During Duty Hours for Government Doctors

In a significant move to enhance the integrity and commitment of government doctors, the Assam Government has issued a directive restricting them from engaging in private practice during official duty hours. This decision, spearheaded by the Medical Education and Research Department of Assam, aims to ensure that government doctors are fully dedicated to their public healthcare responsibilities.

The Directive in Detail

Issuance of the Directive: Dr. Siddharth Singh, IAS Commissioner & Secretary to the Government of Assam’s Medical Education & Research Department, addressed the Health & Family Welfare Department with a clear directive. The order mandates the Director of Health Services, Assam, to instruct all private health institutions registered under the Clinical Establishment Act to prohibit government doctors from practicing at their establishments during duty hours.

Enforcement and Compliance: To enforce this directive, the Joint Director of Health Services, Assam, has been tasked with conducting periodic inspections of private clinical establishments. These inspections are crucial to ensure that private hospitals and nursing homes comply with the new regulations. The responsibility for adherence lies with the private institutions, and any violations will result in appropriate legal action against the establishments.

Monthly Reporting: Private hospitals and nursing homes are required to submit monthly reports detailing the inspections carried out, along with recommendations for any necessary actions. This systematic approach aims to maintain transparency and accountability in the enforcement process.

Background and Rationale

The directive follows a review meeting held by Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sharma during his visit to Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College & Hospital (FAAMC&H) in Barpeta on June 27, 2024. The review highlighted the need for stricter regulations to prevent government doctors from engaging in private practice during duty hours, ensuring their full attention to their public healthcare duties.

Broader Context and Similar Actions

Assam’s directive is not an isolated case. In May, the Nagaland Government also directed its government doctors to cease private practice within a month. Similarly, Professor Dr. Khurshid Ahmad Wani, Principal of Government Medical College Handwara, issued a stern warning to doctors in its associated hospitals, threatening immediate termination for those found practicing during working hours.

Implications and Expected Outcomes

Enhanced Public Healthcare: By restricting private practice during duty hours, the Assam Government aims to ensure that government doctors are fully available and committed to their roles in public hospitals and health centers. This move is expected to improve the quality of care provided to patients in public healthcare facilities.

Accountability and Transparency: The directive places the onus of compliance on private healthcare establishments, ensuring that they do not employ government doctors during their official duty hours. The periodic inspections and mandatory reporting system will enhance transparency and accountability.

Legal and Ethical Considerations: This measure also addresses legal and ethical concerns related to government doctors’ dual practice. Ensuring that doctors do not neglect their public duties for private gain aligns with the broader goals of public health and welfare.


The Assam Government’s directive to curb private practice during duty hours for government doctors is a crucial step towards strengthening the state’s public healthcare system. By ensuring that government doctors are fully dedicated to their public roles, the state aims to enhance the quality of healthcare services provided to its citizens. This move also sets a precedent for other states to follow, promoting a more accountable and transparent healthcare system across the country.

For more updates on healthcare policies and regulations, stay tuned to our blog. Together, let’s work towards a healthier and more equitable healthcare system.

To register for our next masterclass please click here

Melbourne, Australia
(Sat - Thursday)
(10am - 05 pm)