The state government was drawing a lot of backlash from the medical fraternity for providing a meager starting salary of Rs 15600 per month to an MBBS doctors which was paid for a duration of two years of probation.
Chandigarh: The Punjab Cabinet today decided that MBBS doctors would now get full salaries, including all allowances, during probation period, in an attempt to retain talent and overcome shortage of medical staff.
With this, the Cabinet, led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, has decided to do away with the condition of 'basic pay only' for newly-appointed medical officers in the Health and Family Welfare Department.
This is in line with the practice already being followed in several other categories, including Punjab Civil Services (Judicial Branch), assistant teachers/ scientists of Punjab Agriculture University and specialist doctors, said an official spokesperson.
Barring these categories, all newly-appointed employees/officers of the Punjab government, including MBBS doctors, have been getting only basic salary during their probation period, as per the notification issued by the Finance Department on January 15, 2015.
In the case of doctors, specialist doctors recruited along with medical officers (MBBS) were getting full pay, including all allowances on the basis of relaxation given to medical officers (Specialists).
MBBS doctors were getting only basic pay and NPA at 25 per cent of basic pay. This proved to be a deterrent in getting MBBS doctors to join or to remain in government hospitals.
The Cabinet decision would facilitate new doctors to get full salary in the pay scale of Rs 15600-39100+5400 grade.
On February 21, the Punjab Public Service Commission had issued an advertisement for recruitment of 306 medical officers (general) in the Health and Family Welfare Department to overcome the shortage in government hospitals and dispensaries.
Medical officers are also working on medico-legal, post-mortem, emergency and OPD duties, health programmes of central and state governments besides the VVIP duties in addition to their services to the general public.
Due to acute shortage of doctors, the department is facing difficulties in providing services round the clock to the members of the public.
The Punjab Vidhan Sabha Assurance Committee had also taken serious note of this shortage and directed the government to fill up these vacant posts at the earliest.
In the light of this, the proposal for payment of full salaries to the newly-appointed MBBS doctors (being professional), equal to the pay being given to the specialist doctors, was put up before the chief minister after the health minister's approval.
Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported that the state government was drawing a lot of backlash from the medical fraternity for providing a meager starting salary of Rs 15600 per month to an MBBS doctors which is paid for a duration of two years of probation.
Read also: Punjab: Government pegs worth of a MBBS doctor at Rs 15,600
Source: with inputs
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