Thiruvananthapuram: The retirement age for doctors working in government jobs in Kerala has been raised from 55 to 60, Chief Minister of Kerala V S Achuthanandan announced here Wednesday.
"The cabinet that met here decided on this and it would become effective immediately," Achuthanandan told reporters.
A senior doctor of the Trivandrum Medical College said there was nothing much to cheer about regarding the decision.
"Extending it by five more years means that we are tied up because over the last decade and a half we are given no leave for a sabbatical. We do not know if this new decision would allow us to have a choice at age 55 to decide whether we would like to continue or not because in case we resign at any point of time, we become ineligible for a life long pension," said the doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity to IANS.
The state has five medical colleges, which has 1,922 designated posts for doctors. At the moment these medical colleges are struggling with 600 vacancies for doctors.
It was only at the end of last year that the State Government in order to make this posting attractive implemented a hefty increase in the salary of all medical college doctors, but a section of the doctor community was upset because with the increase in salary, came the order that there can be no private practice at home.
The five medical colleges are home to lower and middle level income people of the state. There are a total of nearly 9,000 beds where close to four lakh in patients and 2.5 million outpatients get their treatment done every year.
Currently all those retiring from these medical colleges are lured with a higher salary by medical colleges in the private sector.