Himachal Pradesh Medical Association opposes de-notification of Non-Practicing allowance for doctors
May 24, 2023
In a meeting chaired by Dr. Rajesh Rana, the Himachal Pradesh Medical officers Association strongly expressed its unanimous opposition to the discontinuation of the Non-Practicing Allowance (NPA) for future doctor appointments. Also read: Sukhu Government denotifies Non-Practicing Allowance (NPA) for Medicos in Himachal Pradesh
The association’s members, including senior officials and representatives from various units, voiced their concerns regarding the recent notification issued by the Finance Department. They argued that the decision to halt the NPA is not in the best interest of doctors and is detrimental to the public.
According to the association, if medical officers are unable to engage in private practice due to the removal of NPA, it would result in increased out-of-pocket expenses for the public. They fear that this could potentially lead to the collapse of health facilities in the state. The doctors emphasized that the provision of NPA has played a crucial role in positioning Himachal Pradesh as one of the leading states in terms of health indicators.
The medical association demanded that the government reconsider its decision and continue providing NPA to doctors. They highlighted that the nature of a doctor’s duty is distinct from that of staff and officers in other departments, as doctors are required to render services in all circumstances. The association expressed disappointment that such a decision was made despite doctors’ relentless efforts to provide services day and night, including during times of disaster such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, the association raised concerns about the Assured Career Progression Scheme and the removal of the 4-9-14 increment benefit for doctors appointed as Block Medical Officers. They argued that since the number of Block Medical Officer Posts is limited, and the bureaucracy has been slow in filling these positions, it is unjustifiable to withdraw the benefit. They pointed out that states like Bihar continue to provide this time scale to doctors, making it even more disheartening for doctors in Himachal Pradesh.
The medical association urged the Honorable Chief Minister to fill health department posts with doctors qualified with MVVS degrees. They requested the cancellation of appointments made from other departments and emphasized the need for appointing doctors who possess comprehensive knowledge of healthcare methodology. The association emphasized that such appointments from other departments jeopardize the recognition of newly opened medical colleges in the state and hinder the adherence to Indian Public Health Standards.
Additionally, the association highlighted the failures and slow pace of the Health Department officials, including the inability to make permanent appointments for the Health Director and the vacant positions of Joint Director, Deputy Director, and Block Medical Officers. They also raised concerns about the disparity in grant payments for contract employees and doctors appointed in the Health Department.
The medical association recently met with the Honorable Chief Minister and the Honorable Health Minister to address these issues. However, they expressed dissatisfaction with the bureaucracy’s lack of concrete action. The association remains hopeful that the Chief Minister, known for being employee-friendly, will make the right decision regarding their demands. They plan to discuss these concerns with other medical college associations in the state to devise a future strategy.
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