* Private medical practices still rampant
* Many deprived of non-practicing allowances
GUWAHATI: Dispur has deferred its decision on the issue of giving salaries to the 'Gauhati Medical College & Hospital' (GMCH) doctors at par with their counterparts at the 'All India Institute of Medical Sciences' (AIIMS).
In March 2020, State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had announced that the GMCH's doctors' pay scale will be equal to AIIMS professors from April 15 last year. He also said that the government would have to spend Rs 20 crore additionally to give the new pay scale to the GMCH doctors. Sarma also announced that the GMCH doctors will be barred from working in nursing homes and carrying on private medical practices from April 2020.
The State Health department is now thinking of giving the AIIMS pay scale to the GMCH doctors only when the AIIMS at Changsari in Kamrup district starts functioning. The building of AIIMS at Changsari is currently under construction. During a recent meeting at the GMCH, Minister Sarma also made it clear that the AIIMS pay scale would not be possible immediately.
"The government will try to give the AIIMS pay scales to the GMCH doctors only when the AIIMS at Changsari starts functioning," said a source at GMCH quoting Sarma. Meanwhile, sources also said that it will take some years for completion of the AIIMS building at Changsari.
On the other hand, majority of doctors at the GMCH are still continuing private medical practices and with Dispur failing to implement its decision on the AIIMS pay scale will make more rampant the private medical practices by GMCH doctors.
Meanwhile, those GMCH doctors who do not carry out private medical practices are unhappy as the State Government has not given them non-practicing allowance for the past several months. The non-practicing allowance is given to motivate the government doctors not to carry out private medical practices.