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Friday, January 2, 2009

“Government doctors deprived of VRS”

Government doctors’ in the State have been deprived of the fundamental right of the option of VRS (voluntary retirement scheme) from service on the pretext of shortage for doctors’ and specialists.

According to Tamil Nadu Government Doctors’ Association state secretary K. Senthil, the VRS applications submitted by eligible doctors were not processed and a few applicants approached the High Court seeking justice. Under such circumstances, the government had issued a G.O. amending the fundamental rule for VRS eligibility and banned doctors under the scarce category. The Tamil Nadu Government Doctors’ Association vehemently opposed it and demanded withdrawal of the order. Doctors must also be given the right of VRS like any other government servant.

Already, the government doctors’ in the State are grossly underpaid in spite of their role in holding the State on top in the country. Now, with a ban on VRS, the government doctors’ services were like that of “bonded” as compulsory service. Even resignations were not accepted for the government doctors. Having worked for 20 years in government, when the doctors opted out of service on VRS due to family compulsions, illness of their spouse/children or better prospects; denial affected the morale of the government doctors.Most doctors working in PHCs and in Comprehensive Emergency Obstetrics and Newborn Care centres were enormously stressed both mentally and physically due to long duty hours. The government should review the working conditions and improve them, the association demanded.

In order to attract specialist doctors, the service conditions may be made more lucrative. For instance, pay scale, promotion opportunities and duty timings should be on par with Central Government.

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