Assistant professors from Gandhi Medical College went on mass leave, arguing that the govt’s proposal would affect their promotions.

Telangana doctors oppose govts proposal to raise retirement age of professors
news Protest Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 16:44

Opposing the Telangana government’s proposal to increase the retirement age of professors from the existing 58 to 65, assistant and associate professors from Gandhi Medical College went on mass leave, and have threatened to go on an indefinite strike, if the government doesn’t revoke it within five days.

On Sunday, citing that there is an acute shortage of experienced staff, the state government in its bid to retain the professors, cleared a proposal to relax their age limit.

Up in arms against the decision, the associate and assistant professors under the aegis of Telangana Government Doctors’ Association held a general body meeting on Wednesday and went on mass leave, which interrupted the smooth functioning of the hospital. Though most of the services have been affected due to the strike, the emergency services continue to operate.

The protesting doctors argue that the government’s proposal would aggravate the problem of unemployment and also affect their promotions. Dismissing the government’s claim of shortage of experienced doctors, they claim that there are enough young doctors with expertise, who can replace the professors.

As part of its protest, on Thursday, the doctors held a mass blood donation campaign.

Speaking to TNM, Dr D Ramesh, president of Telangana Government Doctors Association (TGDA) said, “If the government extends the retirement age of the professors, we would continue to serve in the same post of assistants, and further no new recruitments would happen. The government should look at the growing unemployment rate and recruit new candidates. How long will only the seniors continue to work? There’s a stalemate.”

He added, “It is not just the doctors from Gandhi hospital who have been objecting to this, our counterparts from Nizamabad and Siddipet have also objected to the government’s decision.”

Echoing similar views, General secretary of TGDA, Dr Vasanth Kumar said that when the doctors get into teaching, their entry level position is that of assistant professors. Although as per norms they should be promoted as associate professor within four years, many a time, their promotion gets delayed and they retire before becoming associate professors.

“The decision of the government is very dissatisfactory, the government should listen to our plight and reconsider their decision, else we will continue with our protests and intensify our struggle,” he said.

The assistant doctors say that though there is a possibility that the relaxation of age limit may benefit them too, they doubt its practicality.

“If the professors continue to teach, on paper, the assistants would have replaced them as professors. But, they will still be treated as assistants and would be tasked with the job of assistants, which usually younger people carry out. At their age, they cannot stand for 6 to 8 hours. It will take a toll on their health. So, they would naturally retire. That’s why we are opposing it,” claimed another doctor, who is part of the TGDA.

 

 

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