GOOD NEWS for government doctors working in State Public Health and Family Welfare Department, especially those nearing their retirement.
The Madhya Pradesh Government is seriously considering raising the retirement age of government doctors appointed by the Health Department by five years – from 60 to 65. The Health Department has already cleared the proposal and sent it to the State Government for its approval.
The decision is expected very soon. The raise in retirement age would have a two-pronged advantage. It would not only benefit the government doctors, who are about to retire in the coming years, but would also help in maintaining the strength of government doctors in the State, which otherwise is quite less.
The State Government is already facing an acute shortage of young doctors willing to join government service. Almost 900 posts of medical officers are lying vacant for past many years despite state government’s concerted – and varied - efforts to attract youngsters to become government doctors.
The doctors, who get extension of service, would be on contract for the next five years after superannuation. Their pay and perks, nevertheless, would continue to be the same as on the time of their retirement. Extension of service, albeit, would be accorded on a case-to-case basis.
Doctors, whose services are imperative to be continued or those posted on crucial postings would get priority in extension. Similarly, specialists in a particular branch, which is either already facing or is likely to face shortage of doctors in future, would be granted extension in order to maintain the strength of serving doctors in that branch.
An expert committee of the Health Department, whose members are yet to be finalised, would peruse each case individually to decide on extension.
“The State Government is expected to clear the proposal in a month’s time,” State Health Department Principal Secretary Madan Mohan Upadhyay told The Hindustan Times. He said the scheme was presently designed only for allopathic doctors working for the Public Health and Family Welfare Department.
Other government doctors, including those in the Indian Systems of Medicine like Ayurveda and Homeopathy, would not be eligible for service extension under the scheme. Upadhyay did not comment upon whether the scheme could be extended to benefit such doctors or even the lower rung staff of the Health Department. Incidentally, there is shortage of nearly 4000 nurses and other paramedical staff in the health department.
“As of now the proposal is only for doctors working in the Health Department,” Upadhyay maintained.