NEW DELHI: Doctors at All India Institute of Medical Sciences are up in arms against a government order that seeks to reduce their salaries and equate it with faculties at the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Management (IIMs).
Doctors at country’s top health institute are protesting the Centre’s decision to revise their salaries under the 7th Pay Commission and bring it at par with pay scales of teachers at other institutes of higher education that fall under the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development.
Faculty at AIIMS, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry are currently paid 10-13 per cent more than their counterparts at IITs and IIMs and about 20 per cent more than teachers at Central Universities.
Faculty Association of AIIMs president C S Bal said, “The government’s decision will end up slashing entry pay of doctors at top-line medical institutes in the country. “This means that while all other Central government employees will see considerable rise in their salaries as they get benefitted from the 7th pay panel, our salaries will see 10-13 per cent drop,” Bal said.
The changed rule is likely to impact salaries of about 730 doctors at AIIMS, Delhi, over 250 doctors at six new AIIMS at Patna, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Raipur and Rishikesh and faculty members at PGIMER, JIPMER and some other medical colleges which follow similar salary structures.
The Association has written to the Union health minister J P Nadda demanding an immediate intervention and has also asked the finance ministry to review the rule.
Nand Kumar, secretary of the Association said that the “ridiculous” decision is likely to trigger mass exodus of faculty at AIIMS and further discourage bright minds in the profession to join these institutes.
“Seventeen doctors have quit AIIMS Delhi in the last two years while about 70 per cent posts of faculty lie vacant in new AIIMS in other cities. It is ridiculous that instead of making doctor friendly policies, the government has adopted a rule that will further alienate them,” Kumar added.
Currently, while a professor at an AIIMS gets a salary of around Rs 2.20 lakh per month including housing rent allowance, an additional professor is entitled to around Rs 1.9 lakh. The implementation of the new rule will lead to a dip of about Rs 10,000 - 20,000 in their average salaries.