Med­i­cal bodies de­bate re­tire­ment age of doc­tors

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Dna cor­re­spon­dent cor­re­spon­dent@ dnain­dia. net

To ful­fill the short­age of doc­tors in the health­care sec­tor across the coun­try, prime min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi re­cently an­nounced that the age of re­tire­ment of gov­ern­ment doc­tors would be raised to 65 years, and this has sparked a de­bate be­tween the Ma­ha­rash­tra State Med­i­cal Teacher As­so­ci­a­tion ( MSMTA) and se­nior of­fi­cials from the Direc­torate of Med­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion and Re­search ( DMER).

MSMTA, a body of med­i­cal teach­ers from state- run med­i­cal col­leges, has been op­pos­ing this de­ci­sion. It feels that this is not the best so­lu­tion to solve the man­power is­sue in­volv­ing doc­tors.

Ev­ery state gov­ern­ment has a right to main­tain the bar on the re- tire­ment age of doc­tors, but they can­not ex­ceed the age norms set by the Med­i­cal Coun­cil of In­dia ( MCI). In Ma­ha­rash­tra, the state med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment has al­lowed the re­tire­ment age for state and civic- run med­i­cal col­lege teach­ers to be set at 64 years.

On Thurs­day, while ad­dress­ing a rally at Ut­tar Pradesh, Modi said that there is a need for more doc­tors across the coun­try, but it had not been pos­si­ble to fill this gap in the two years of his gov­ern­ment. His cabi­net will take a de­ci­sion in this re­gard and the re­tire­ment age of gov­ern­ment doc­tors would be made 65 years, he said.

But Dr Ek­nath Pawar, pres­i­dent, MSMTA, said: “This is not a so­lu­tion for solv­ing the man­power is­sue. We are in com­plete op­po­si­tion to this gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion. We have a dif­fer­ent de­mand from the state gov­ern­ment — tem­po­rary lec­tur­ers should be reg­u­larised and time- bound pro­mo­tion and time­bound pay scale should be given to teach­ers. If the gov­ern­ment wants to ap­point these teach­ers, they can ap­point them af­ter re­tire­ment, but in­creas­ing the age of teach­ers eve- ry time is not a good idea.”

Ac­cord­ing to MCI, there are 398 med­i­cal col­leges across the coun­try with more than 52,000 MBBS seats.

Dr Pravin Shin­gare, di­rec­tor, DMER, said: “We had al­ready given a pro­posal to the state med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment to in­crease the age of re­tire­ment of med­i­cal teach- ers to 65. But our med­i­cal teach­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion had op­posed the move. We have a plan to start two new med­i­cal col­leges in Gondiya and Chan­dra­pur, where we need teach­ing staff. Hence, we want to raise the re­tire­ment age of med­i­cal teach­ers.”

When med­i­cal teach­ers re­tire, it af­fects the num­ber of med­i­cal seats to be main­tained. To main­tain an ad­e­quate ra­tio, the state gov­ern­ments in­crease the re­tire­ment age of teach­ers. Na­tional co- con­venor of the Jan Sawasthya Ab­hiyan, Dr Ab­hay Shukla, said: “I think the gov­ern­ment needs to fo­cus on in­fra­struc­ture in­stead of the age of doc­tors. They have to con­cen­trate on the work­ing con­di­tion of hos­pi­tals. They should pro­vide enough medicine and good equip­ment that would help poor pa­tients.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.