Impact of 7th Pay Commission on Doctors
New Delhi: With the recent cabinet approval to the 7th Pay Commission, doctor employed with the government can now look forward to better remuneration effective from 1st January, 2016. With the announcement of general features of the pay commission, The government has announced the appointment of special allowance committee, which shall be chaired by the Finance Secretary and shall have representation from the health ministry, which shall deliberate upon the issue of NPA. The committee is expected to pronounce its results after four months. Till a final decision, all existing Allowances will continue to be paid at the existing rates.
Since the recommendations of the 7th pay commission coming out, last year, government doctors had been disappointing with the proposed recommendations that had been made by the commission.The 6th Pay Commission put NPA for doctors as part of basic salary and it was 25% of basic salary. With the 7th pay commission the percentage was reduced to 20% of basic salary. Further the commission recommended NPA shall not treated as part of basic pay, but as a separate allowance. This made the HRA and therefore the final salary of the doctors lower than expected.
With the recommendations coming out in 2015, began a year long struggle of representatives of the medical profession to fight against the "discriminatory" recommendations of 7th pay commission. Representatives of FORDA (Federation of Resident Doctors Association) and JACSDO in Delhi, were found running from Pillar to Post asking the government to reconsider the proposed recommendations. In the month of May, 2016 15,000 Doctors under the banner of FORDA across the capital called for Medical Bandh as a desperate attempt to make their demands be heard by the government.This was followed by a series of meetings between the representative of both senior and junior government doctors with the Health Secretary, Union Health Minister, even the Union Finance Minister in order to apprise the government of the issue.
With the announcement of the cabinet approval, the efforts of the doctors seems to have paid off, atleast in the short run.
The government has announced the appointment of special allowance committee, which shall be chaired by the Finance Secretary and shall have representation from the health ministry, which shall deliberate upon the issue of NPA. The committee is expected to pronounce its results after four months. Till a final decision, all existing Allowances will continue to be paid at the existing rates.
This simply means that during the pendency of the Allowance committee report, NPA shall be continued to be paid at 25% and being included as a part of Basic pay. This indeed means a higher salary for the doctors in the interim period. For instance, a resident doctor employed with a Central government hospital, who was earlier getting Rs 104,000 can now expect a salary of Rs 112,500.
Speaking to Medical Dialogues team, Dr Pankaj Solanki, on behalf of FORDA said, " As everyone is aware about that the 7th CPC reports have been accepted and cleared by Union Cabinet. It's because of our unity and continued pressure on the government bodies that the NPA hasn't been decreased as of now, which is very good. As per interim reports available to us that Status quo for allowances has been maintained until committee decides. So, we will continue to get merged NPA with basic salary at the existing rate of 25 %. "
"However, things don't change overnight. Our fight hasn't ended, yet. It'll continue with allowance committee/anomalies committee and we will put all our efforts to have it end with positive outcome," Dr Pankaj added.