HYDERABAD: Senior doctors at state government hospitals, who are on the verge of retirement, are seeking raising of the retirement age from 58 to 65 years. It is learnt that 59 professors and associate professors, who have vast experience, are set to retire by December next year. Every year, at least 20 professors or associate professors retire.
Justifying their demand, a senior doctor explained, “We get `1 lakh pension after retirement. Private medical colleges recruit retired senior doctors for teaching and pay them around `2 lakh each. This brings the monthly income to `3 lakh. Besides, I will have more time for private practice. Financially, it pays us more if we retire. But the public will be the sufferer.
People will be deprived of quality medical treatment.” Director of medical education Dr K Ramesh Reddy said they would like to utilise the rich experience of senior professors as rules allow the faculty at semi-autonomous medical colleges to retire at 65-years.
“We want career progression of existing doctors to continue at regular medical colleges. In the case of senior doctors who will be retiring, we would like to utilise their services as faculty in semi-autonomous medical colleges where they can retire at the age of 65 years,” he said, adding that any doctor can apply for posting at a semi-autonomous medical college.
The retirement age in semi-autonomous medical colleges is 65 years whereas it is 58 in government medical colleges. There are three semi-autonomous medical colleges in the state, one each at Mahbubnagar, Adilabad, and Siddipet. Two more will be set up in Nalgonda and Suryapet.
Meanwhile, junior doctors are apprehensive about the senior doctors’ pitch. Members of the Junior Doctors Association (JUDA) said that if retirement age was raised, fresh postgraduates and super-specialty pass-outs will lose jobs.
JUDA’s adviser Dr G Srinivas said that if the existing cycle was followed, there would be vacancies in assistant professor posts, providing job opportunities to super-specialty and postgraduate doctors. “Many young doctors are willing to work in the government sector in view of the employment problem,” said Dr P Vijayender Goud, president of JUDA’s Osmania General Hospital unit.
A medico’s career in government sector starts at the age of 35 as an assistant professor. Promotion makes them associate professors and professors. In all positions, they have to treat patients and teach students throughout their career. Senior professors or doctors, who are set to retire, are those with rich experience of having worked at government hospitals where the patient flow is heavy and critical cases are dime a dozen.
“When we retire at 58 years, we have had served the government only for 23 to 25-years. Thereafter, private hospitals throw a bait at us. Our point is, why should the government lose the services of such doctors who are at the pinnacle of medical practice? They can be retained for the benefit of patients and for the spread of their rich knowledge to medical student,” reasoned a senior doctor who sought anonymity.