Hyderabad: In the coming months, the Health Department is all set to increase the age of retirement for doctors at government hospitals in the State.
With Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao receptive to the proposal, it has almost become a foregone conclusion that the age of superannuation for doctors will be increased in the near future in Telangana.
At present, the retirement age of government doctors in Telangana State is 58 years and officials are proposing it to be enhanced up to 62 years. For new medical colleges that are being set-up in Telangana including the ones in Adilabad, Mahabubnagar, Siddipet and Suryapet, which will have semi-autonomous status, the retirement age for doctors is likely to be 65 years.
The enhancement of retirement age was long time coming due to acute shortage of experienced medical teachers essential for running undergraduate, post-graduate and super-speciality medical courses, as per the stringent experience criteria laid out by Medical Council of India (MCI).
The MCI has also made it mandatory for faculty doctors to be present on regular rolls, adequately qualified and experienced for super-speciality seats. The shortage of experienced doctors in State-run institutions is much more pronounced in remote areas, which forces patients to travel long distances in search of medical care.
Following consistent pressure from MCI to maintain quality in education to retain under -graduate and PG medical seats, several States apart from Ministry of Health, Medical and Family Welfare have already increased the age of superannuation.
This January, the Health Ministry had increased the retirement age of general duty medical officers and even specialists in AYUSH and Central Health Services i.e. Central Government Health Services (CGHS) and hospitals under Armed Forces and Railways to 65 years.
Last year in May, Andhra Pradesh had increased the age of superannuation from 60 years to 63 years in all State-run hospitals. Correspondingly, it had also changed the retirement age of AYUSH doctors to 63 years.
To address the issue of lack of promotions to the existing cadre of senior doctors, the health officials here are proposing to follow regular promotions based on MCI criteria by assessment promotion scheme and introduce a rotation of HOD system that will ensure all the eligible doctors will get a shot at holding senior administrative posts in State-run hospitals.
In the coming weeks, the health officials are expected to set-up a committee that would come out with recommendations for implementing the enhancement of retirement age.