Nagpur: Even as over 400 doctors across the state in the public health department continue to remain confused about their status of retirement on May 31, the state government has asked the department to fill all posts that are to fall vacant on May 31 immediately. This means that the government is not following its earlier GR of increasing the retirement age from 58 to 60 years.
This retirement of 400 doctors will also affect the short staffed Employment State Insurance Scheme (ESIS) hospitals. The city ESIS hospital will have to completely close down the medicine and surgery departments, which are at present being run by just a single doctor.
However, ESIS commissioner Dr Rishikesh Yashod claims that these posts will be filled immediately, and the services to patients will not be affected. “There is a new GR which says that all posts which will fall vacant on May 31 should be immediately filled, even if they have to be done by shifting of ESIS’s own staff or reshuffling them on contract basis,” he said.
Dr Meena Deshmukh, medical superintendent at ESIS hospital in city, told TOI that one of the physicians here had retired in December 2017 and the other physician will retire on May 31. It implies that there will be no physicians, and the medicine department will have no doctors. “It may affect services to patients, but I am not sure of the exact situation on May 31 as we have not got any communication so far from any authorities regarding retirement. In fact, I am still hopeful that the government follows the earlier GR, and doesn’t retire the doctors who are below the age of 60 years,” she said.
There are two posts of surgeons. One of them retired in January this year and the other took VRS in April. So there are no surgeons here even now. But Dr Deshmukh said that there are two post graduate bonded surgeons, who are running the department at present. However, they cannot do all types of surgeries. “We may continue to take their services till we get new candidates,” she said.
However, sources in ESIS said that posts of surgeons, physicians and pathologists will be vacant. They said that otherwise also, specialities like orthopaedics, gynaecology and paediatrics are being run by contractual doctors, who are not regular in their job. “Unless all posts are made ‘regular’, this problem of good services to ESIS patients cannot be resolved,” said a beneficiary.