Union health and family welfare minister, Gulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday said the Centre was considering a proposal to raise the retirement age of government doctors from 65 to 70 years.
Speaking at a press conference at the Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, the minister said that while medical seats for aspirants had been doubled, the shortage of teaching faculty remains acute. Delaying retirement could also help hospitals to tackle the increasing number of patients visiting the hospitals, said Azad, who was in the city to inaugurate the cancer hospital’s new wing.
“We had increased the retirement age to 65 from 60 years (in September). However, that did not help the acute shortage of faculty. Thus we are planning to talk to the prime minister about increasing the retirement age further,” Azad said.
He also stressed on making treatment affordable for patients. “The costs of certain treatment is such that even well-to-do families can be driven to poverty,” he said.
Government hospitals treating below poverty line patients, who require liver or lung transplants, will be allotted Rs 15 lakh per patient. Hospitals will also be given Rs 1 lakh for treating below-poverty-line patients for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cancer.