To retain the talent pool of health specialists in Central Health Service (CHS), the Cabinet today gave its nod to raise the superannuation age of doctors from the present 62 to 65 years, a move which will help in effective implementation of national health programmes.
Besides, it will help improve patient care and academic activities, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.
There are about 4,000 doctors under Central Health Service, according to the Health Ministry. "The Union Cabinet has given its approval for enhancement of the age of superannuation of non-teaching and public health specialists of CHS from 62 years to 65 years and doctors of General Duty Medical Officers (GDMOs) sub-cadre of CHS to 65 years," an official statement said.
However, the government said this move would not have any financial implication as the vacant posts had to be filled up quickly to ensure continuity of patient care.
Prime Minister NarendraModi had earlier said the central government had decided to enhance superannuation age of all doctors in Central Health Service to 65 years with effect from May 31, 2016 Citing shortage of doctors, Modi had at a rally in Saharanpur on May 26 announced raising the retirement age.
"The target group would be officers of non-teaching, public health and GDMO sub-cadres of CHS. The decision would help in better patient care, proper academic activities in Medical colleges as also in effective implementation of national health programmes for delivery of health care services," the statement said.
The age of superannuation in respect of all four sub-cadres of CHS — teaching, non-teaching, public health and GDMO — was 60 years prior to 2006.
The age of superannuation of the three specialists sub-cadres — teaching, non-teaching and public health) — was enhanced in 2006 from 60 to 62 years.
The age of superannuation of teaching sub-cadre was further enhanced from 62 to 65 years with the approval of the Cabinet in June, 2008 in view of huge shortfall of teaching specialists.
However, it was limited to teaching specialists and not those occupying administrative positions, the statement said.