In the back drop of the government's initiative to improve specialist (medical) services in the state following the recommendations of a committee, the Punjab Civil Medical Services Special Doctors Association (PCMSSDA) too has proposed certain steps that can be taken to overcome the shortage of doctors, especially the specialist doctors.
A meeting of the association was held recently under the chairmanship of its president Dr Kashmir Singh Sohal, in which he suggested the creation of a separate specialist sub-cadre within the PCMS. These specialists should be assigned the work related to their specialty only and should not be asked to perform general duties.
A release issued by the association here on Saturday suggested that for filling up vacant posts of specialists, the government should ensure that all post-graduate seats in the state medical colleges are filled from among the serving PCMS doctors only. The government has a misconception that after doing post-graduation, doctors will leave the state services, but the fact is that PCMS cadre doctors execute a bond to serve the state for five years, the release said, while also calling for reviving the 2-year post-graduate diploma courses in the medical colleges.
The association also reiterated its old demand that all the dispensaries under the Zila Parishad (ZP) should be brought under the control of the health department for better healthcare. Another suggestion was that the pay structure of the specialists should be brought at par with the specialists of the Central health services.
The association also favoured that the higher qualification allowance (HQA) given to specialist doctors should be increased to 50% of their basic pay. It also demanded that the academic allowance be raised to 5% of the basic pay and the rural area allowance be hiked to 15% of the basic pay from the existing 6%.
The association also suggested that Non Practising Allowance (NPA) should be treated as part of pay for all intents and purposes and the upper ceiling of pay plus NPA should be abolished. PCMSSDA also demanded that all pending cases of time scale under career progression scheme should be cleared.
The association also suggested that promotion avenues be created for specialist doctors through a cadre review and all posts of medical teachers in the state medical colleges be filled via promotion of eligible specialist PCMS doctors.