Mumbai Local

New retirement age could create trouble: docs

Resident doctors at JJ Hospital—File Photo  

The central government’s decision to increase the retirement age of government doctors to 65 from 60 or 62 could be well-intentioned, but hasn’t been thought through, city-based government doctors said on Thursday.

While some welcomed the move, others said increasing retirement age could potentially fuel discontent among junior doctors aspiring for administrative posts. Presently, the retirement age in Maharashtra varies according to the department the doctor is associated with. For instance, the retirement age is 62 for doctors working in BMC hospitals, while it is 64 for those at government medical colleges. In district hospitals, the retirement age is 58.

“The retirement age will now be uniform across departments,” Dr TP Lahane, who is dean of JJ Medical College, the state’s biggest public hospital, said. The PM said on Thursday that the Cabinet will soon approve a bill increasing the age. Dr Lahane said it was a welcome decision as it would help patients since they would get the benefit of consulting senior doctors. Besides, it would also help junior doctors as the seniors will be around for longer, he said.

The Centre’s announcement comes four years after the Medical Council of India had increased retirement age from 58 to 65.

Other doctors, however, were not as convinced and cited both professional and personal reasons. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to increase the retirement age. I believe 62 is good enough,” said Dr Sujata Baweja, head of department, microbiology at Sion Hospital. She said instead of a standard rule, doctors should be given an option to retire late if they want to. The rule, she added, could lead to many sticking around just for retirement benefits. “Besides, we need to let the younger generation take up administrative jobs. There will be negativity (among the younger doctors),” she said.

Doctors pointed out that like in any other job, they too have a cut-off point when they would want to devote time to family or just to themselves and a rule for all was not entirely fair. “You can’t give your best for so long. Moreover, many would like to contribute to the society in their own way and would not really like to be bound to one hospital. There are other ways of reaching out to patients,” a doctor who did not wish to be named said. Dr Sagar Mundada, president, Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors said at present, unless the government retires people, many senior doctors would have to wait much longer before they make it to a coveted position. “Young doctors will have to wait long before they become permanent. This will be demoralising,” he said, adding that it is for precisely this reason that many government doctors move to private hospitals.

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Printable version | May 5, 2021 11:33:20 AM |

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