January 20, 2009

Gujarat increases medicos' retirement age to overcome staff shortage

Faced with an acute shortage of staff, the Gujarat government has decided to increase the retirement age from 58 to 62 years of teachers and doctors serving in the government-run medical and dental colleges and hospitals across the state.

Although an official statement issued on Monday claimed that Chief Minister Narendra Modi took the decision in view of the fast pace of development in medical education and services, a senior official in the state Health Department termed it as an attempt to tide over staff shortage in these institutions.

The official told Newsline that there was a 25-30 per cent shortage of teachers in government medical colleges, while a 35-per cent shortage of doctors in hospitals across the state. In fact, there is an acute shortage of speciality doctors — over 45 per cent — in civil hospitals and community health centres in Gujarat, he said.

“The decision will help us ease the present staff shortage. We have also decided to increase the frequency of holding walk-in interviews of medicos to tide over the staff crunch in government hospitals,” the official added.

According to sources, there are 1,214 teachers doing the academic job in the six government-run medical colleges across the state, as against the requirement of over 1,400 teachers.

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