Chandigarh, March 19:
In a bid to retain talent and overcome a shortage of medical staff, the Punjab cabinet on Monday decided that MBBS doctors will now get their full salaries, including all allowances, during the probation period.
With this, the Cabinet, led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, has decided to do away with the condition of ‘basic pay only’ for newly appointed medical officers in the Health & Family Welfare Department.
This is in line with the practice already being followed in several other categories, including Punjab Civil Services (Judicial Branch), Assistant Teachers/Scientists of Punjab Agriculture University and Specialist Doctors, said an official spokesperson.
Barring these categories, all newly appointed employees/officers of Punjab Government, including MBBS doctors, have been getting only basic salary during their probation period, as per the notification issued by the Finance Department on January 15, 2015.
In the case of doctors, specialist doctors recruited along with Medical Officers (MBBS) are getting full pay including all the allowances on the basis of relaxation given to Medical Officers (Specialists), whereas MBBS doctors are getting only basic pay and NPA @ 25% of Basic Pay. This has proved to be a deterrent in getting MBBS doctors to join or remain in government hospitals.
The cabinet decision would facilitate new MBBS doctors to get full salary in the pay scale of Rs.15600-39100+5400/- Grade. Pertinently, the Punjab Public Service Commission had issued an advertisement on February 21, 2018 for recruitment of 306 posts of Medical Officers (General) in the Health and Family Welfare Department to overcome the shortage of doctors in Government Hospitals and Dispensaries across the state.
It is noteworthy that Medical Officers are also working on Medico-legal, Post Mortem, emergency duties, OPD duties, besides the Health Programmes of Central Government and State Government and also the VVIP duties in addition to their services to the general public. Due to acute shortage of doctors, the department is facing difficulties in providing 24X7 hours services to the members of the public.
The Punjab Vidhan Sabha Assurance Committee had also taken serious note of this shortage and directed the Government to fill up these vacant posts at the earliest. In the light of this, the proposal for the payment of full salary to the newly appointed MBBS doctors (being professional), equal to the pay being given to the Specialist doctors, was put up before the Chief Minister after approval by the Health Minister.
In another decision, the Cabinet also approved the “Punjab Health and Family Welfare, Technical (Group-B) Service Rules-2018” to facilitate recruitment and promotions of various technical group “B” vacant posts. These rules would also open more promotional channels for the para-medical and technical staff of the Health and Family Welfare. Additionally, they would help in disposing of the pending service matters smoothly and efficiently, in a stipulated timeframe, besides providing the best healthcare services to the citizens.