New Delhi: The eve of 1st June, 2016 saw thousands of resident doctors in the capital coming together to show their protest in the form of a candle march against the 7th pay commission.The doctors, who had earlier declared an indefinite strike on this issue, decided to opt for a protest candle march instead, after the Union health minister promised to look into their demands.
The doctor collected at Central Park CP, and marched to Jantar Mantar, with lit candles in their hand. The march called by Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) saw participations from resident doctors as well as senior doctors, faculty members, medical officers alike.
Since the recommendations will have an impact on the remuneration on all government employees including Central government, State government as well as autonomous institutions, the medical fraternity in the government sector slowly appears to be uniting from all sections on this common issue. FORDA is reported to have given the government, time till 7th June, 2016, after which the doctors may resort to an indefinite strike.
What is NPA ?
Non Practicing allowance is given to doctors in states, where private practice along with government service is not allowed. NPA is a matter of right of govt. doctor and is meant as a compensation for denial of private practice. De Jure & de Facto, it is a part of the scale of pay and is inevitably linked to the basic pay.
It is being given to the doctors only since 1922. In 1962 the GOI brought the notification that NPA to be considered as special pay for all purposes. It is a part of basic pay/emoluments (Rule 9(21)(a)(i) of Fundamental Rules.
Why it is given to Doctors ?
NPA is doctors right. In 1997 MOH, GOI stated in Chapter II 2.2 the reasons for NPA
- Basic medical course is longer & more expensive.
- Average age of entry in service is 29 years.
- Have fewer closed holidays.
- Often works at odd hours.
- Attend emergency cases beyond duty hours.
Why this agitation ?
- When the 7th CPC was constituted the doctors were very hopeful that their demands will be looked after, which were increasing NPA to 40% from existent 25%. Instead NPA has been reduced to 20% only.
- The basic pay and NPA were merged together while calculating HRA earlier, but this thing has been omitted now and HRA will be calculated only with basic pay resulting in less than the desired salary.
- There is already a discrepancy between the remuneration of the doctors working in the government sector and doctors working in the private sector. With this pay commission, there will be a higher discrepancy between government and private doctors.
- This will also be blow on the retention of good doctors in government sector.