“Either meet our demands on NPA or allow Private Practice”
With no response from the government on the demands of the NPA given to medical practitioners working in the government, Federation of Resident Doctors Association ( FORDA) has written to the Ministry of health and Family welfare suggesting a alternate solution. Doctors associated with the organisation have stated that either the government should increase the NPA, further merging it with the basic pay ( as was in the case of 6th Pay Commission), or simply allow government doctors to engage in private practice.
Doctors working with the government were aghast when the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission, reduced the NPA from 25% to 20% and delinked the same from the basic pay. Doctors had immediately objected to the recommendations, then running pillar to post to restore at the very least the status quo of the NPA.
On June 29th, the government, while approving the recommendations of the 7th pay commission announced the appointment of special allowance committee, chaired by the Finance Secretary and having representation from the health ministry, to deliberate upon the issue of NPA. It was announced that till a final decision was reached, all existing Allowances will continue to be paid at the existing rates.
Sources have informed Medical Dialogues team that this special allowance committee will soon pronounce its decision, probably in the next 10 days.
FORDA, an organisation of 15,000 resident doctors in the capital, in the meantime, has written to the health ministry, objecting to the recommendation while reminding the government that NPA is not a seperate allowance but a part of the basic pay of doctors.
“The NPA is issued by Govt of India under FUNDAMENTAL financial rules of 1962 under FR(9) but historically, It was started in 1922 in lieu of late joining & Job Hardships faced by Doctors. This is in concordance of the Govt Of India order” the letter added.
As an intermediate solution to the impasse between the government and the doctors, the organisation also pointed out to alternate solution stating that the government must allow private practice in case the government does not give an increased/merged NPA.
“We would like to offer to government that in case govt does not want to increase the NPA and do not merge it with basic for calculation of all allowances every government doctor must be allowed to have his private practice ,in that case we would be very happy to not to ask for NPA,” the letter stated
Speaking to Medical Dialogues Team, Dr Ravinder Chauhan, General Secretary, FORDA said, “If the government does not wish to give the rightful NPA that medical practitioners deserve, then doctors should be allowed private practice.”
Currently, many states, such as Rajasthan are following the protocol, where doctors are not given NPA, but are allowed private practice.