A PIL was filed in the Allahabad High Court Wednesday on acute shortage of medical officers at hospital across Uttar Pradesh (UP) due to the retirement age being 62 years, especially at a time when a health emergency has been declared in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by Dr Prem Singh, which is likely to be heard on Thursday, seeks to “extend the age of retirement of medical officers and doctors up to the age of 70 years or 65 years with immediate effect”.
Singh, who is presently holds the post of Medical Officer at Meerut, through his advocates— Milind Garg and Nikita Jain Garg— also sought quashing of two notices dated, February 17, 2020 and November 7, 2019, issued by the Chief Medical Officer, informing Singh that he is to retire from service on May 31, 2020 at the age of 62 years.
The plea urged that Singh be allowed to continue in service up to the age of 65 years.
“At present, when a health emergency has already been declared in the country on account of the COVID-19 virus, which is a global pandemic, the need of experienced doctors and medical staff is the need for the nation, therefore, the present petition is mainly and majorly for public cause,” it said.
The petitioner, who has arrayed the state, its health department and its concerned party, further stated in the PIL: “at present, there is a shortage of approximately 7400 Medical Officers/Doctors in the State of UP against the sanctioned post of 18,000 and the process of retirement of the serving medical officers is going on and are retiring at the age of 62 years, while the retiring officers can very well serve upto the age of 70 years.”
The PIL also said, if medical officers are allowed to retired at the age of 62, then, the vacuum of experienced medical officers cannot be filled even by new appointments.
The PIL further stated that the “State Government is creating a classification between the Service Rules of Medical Officers posted in the Government Medical Colleges in the State of UP and the Medical Officers posted in Provincial Medical and Health Service in the State of UP, as the age of superannuation of the Medical Officers posted in the Government Medical Colleges in the State of UP is 70 years…,”
“Whereas, the age of superannuation of the Medical Officers posted in Provincial Medical & Health Service in State of UP is 62 years, even all the terms and conditions of the services of both the Medical Officers are the same, and thus, the classification made by the State Government is in violation to the provisions of Article 14 of the Constitution of India, 1950,” it added.