7th Pay Commission: Inservice Doctors in Gujarat to now get NPA
Ahmedabad: Bringing major relaxation to the longstanding demand of doctors in the state, the Gujarat government has now approved the Non-Practising Allowance (NPA) for in-service doctors working in government hospitals and teachers of the Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS) medical colleges.
The allowance has been granted in line with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. In the 7th pay commission, the provision of a special monthly allowance was added for medical teachers and doctors. Under the NPA, an allowance ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 35,000 gets paid to them per month as compensation for their sacrifice of private practice after joining the government service.
The announcement to this effect was made by Nitin Patel, Deputy Chief Minister and State Health Minister on social media. He called it a "Rakshabandhan gift" for the doctors and medical college teachers, who had been demanding it for a long time and had even gone on strike for it.
"Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel has approved NPA as per the 7th Pay Commission to the eligible in-service doctors of government hospitals and GMERS medical college teachers as a Rakshabandhan gift," the note on Patel's Facebook page read.
The nod comes a few months after the state government in May approved the NPA for teachers of six government medical colleges, as per the 7th Pay Commission, as a condition for them to call off their strike along with teachers of eight GMERS medical colleges.
Medical Dialogues had reported a few months back that almost 1700 tutors, assistant professors, associate professors and professors of six medical colleges came under the banner of the Gujarat Medical Teachers Association (GMTA) and had launched a relay hunger strike to press their demands including higher non-practicing allowance (NPA) as per the 7th Pay Commission recommendations and the abolition of contractual appointments. GMERS doctors had also participated in the protest. The GMERS medical colleges are semi-government institutions established under the Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society of the state health department.
Earlier this month, the State Government had withdrawn the special pay allowance besides recovering the allowance paid to the doctors for the last two months from their salary of July, .giving a major shock to doctors. More than 100 faculty members had been affected by such a move on the part of the government.
Raising the issue, some of the faculty members have already made representations to the State Government. In fact, doctors under the banner of the Gujarat Medical Teachers' Association (GMTA) had also written to the State Government regarding the issue.
Now, finally, the government has implemented the NPA for the in-service doctors and medical teachers.
Responding to the development, Gujarat Medical Teachers Association (GMTA) president Dr Rajnish Patel welcomed the government's decision.
"It is a welcome move that the government has accepted the pending demands of the GMERS medical college teachers and in-service doctors. They had been a part of the strike called by the GMTA, but the government had not approved of it earlier," Dr Patel told news agency PTI.