Citing shortage of doctors, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced raising the age of retirement of government doctors to 65 years and said the Union Cabinet will give its nod to the decision this week. In a rally to observe the second anniversary of his government, Modi said there is a need for more doctors across the country but it was not possible to fill the gap in two years of his government.
The decision will cover all government doctors whether serving under states or the central dispensation, he said. "There is a shortage of doctors. In government hospitals, their retirement is 60 years in some states, 62 in some others. If adequate number of medical institutes were there, then we would have more doctors and would not feel the shortage. It is difficult to make doctors in two years but poor families cannot be forced to live without doctors.
"Therefore from Uttar Pradesh, I want to announce this to my countrymen that this week our government's Cabinet will take a decision and the retirement age of our doctors, whether in states or government of India, would be made 65 years instead of 60 or 62," he said. It will allow doctors to serve patients and provide education for a longer period, he said, adding that his government is also working fast to have more medical colleges to have more doctors in the field.
Modi's announcement came after he appealed to doctors to serve poor pregnant women for free on each ninth day of every month, saying it will contribute to his government's efforts to deal with illness among the poor. If one crore families can give up on LPG subsidy, then Modi said he is sure that doctors can serve poor expectant women for 12 days in a year, he said.