150 govt docs on contract face sack

No extension likely when term expires

About 150 doctors across state-run hospitals are likely to lose their jobs with the government not keen on renewing their contracts in February.

There are 149 doctors who have been appointed as junior specialists and general duty medical officers (GDMOs) across Delhi-government hospitals on contract basis. Several of them have spent between six and eight years now. Though the doctors appointed before December 2006 were regularised, this batch of doctors now face the brunt.

The 149 doctors were recruited between 2007 and 2009 and their contracts expire on February 28, 2015.

Health Secretary S C L Das was not available for comment on the issue.These doctors have already received unofficial word that the contracts would not be renewed.

“Even though there is a staff crunch across government hospitals, the Delhi government will fill up the posts only through UPSC. Several employees will not be eligible to sit for UPSC entrance because of the age limit. So many of us lost opportunities as we did not take up offers from the private sectors also in these years,” said Dr Nitu Chaudhary, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, who will be affected by the expiry of contract.

Vacant posts

The Delhi government is filling up vacant posts through the UPSC entrance. Several posts still remain vacant, said a senior health official. According to Doctors Welfare Association (DWA), it is difficult for doctors to find work after so many years of service. 

“Year after year their service was renewed. Now suddenly, the government has decided to not renew their contracts. These doctors have lost several opportunities in these years,” said Dr Vijay Rai, Additional Director, Directorate of Health Services (DHS) and Secretary, DWA

Disparity in payment between regular and contractual employees is extremely demotivating for the doctors, he added.

With no elected government in the Capital, doctors who will be affected by the expiry of the contract blame the “bureaucrats in the health department” for taking this drastic step. 

Doctors said both the Congress and AAP governments had assured support earlier.“It is sad that the government will now be following this hire-and-fire policy and spoiling our future. Is this not playing with the careers of educated people? We were also recruited through a process not less credible than the UPSC. Some of us even hold administrative charges. Why can’t we be regularised?,” said Dr Vikram Kesar, Rao Tula Ram Memorial Hospital.

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