Published On: Wed, Apr 1st, 2020

COVID-19: Gujarat health staff’s retirement deferred by 2 months

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Health Minister Nitin Patel on Wednesday said retirement of employees of the health and family welfare department will be deferred by two months amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As many of these employees were scheduled to retire on March 31 after completing 58 and 60 years of age (for doctors), the Chief Minister decided to extend their services till May 31, Gujarat Health Minister Nitin Patel said.

The minister also announced that private medical practitioners would be recruited by government medical colleges and hospitals to maintain the strength of the public healthcare system during the viral outbreak.

Speaking to reporters here, Patel said health department employees, who were scheduled to retire on March 31, will continue to work till May 31 in view of the pandemic.

“Employees of sub-health centres, primary health centres, community health centres, district, sub-district and civil hospitals are a big support for us (during coronavirus outbreak). They are working hard and round the clock, by conducting surveys or treating patients,” Patel said.

As many of these employees were scheduled to retire on March 31 after completing 58 and 60 years of age (for doctors), the Chief Minister decided to extend their services till May 31, Patel said.

Recruitment for healthcare workers is also underway across the state, the minister said.

“We have also decided to hire private medical practitioners for government hospitals and colleges on ad hoc basis for 11-month contract period,” he said, adding that the arrangement will help fill vacancy of doctors and teachers in medical colleges.

Meanwhile, the minister said farmers, who are due to repay their loans on March 31, will get a breather of two more months.

“The Central and state governments pay interest on loans that farmers take from cooperative banks and public lenders. Banks lend around Rs 32-35,000 crore to farmers (in Gujarat), interest on these loans are paid by the Central (3 per cent) and state (4 per cent) governments,” he said.

With markets closed due to the lockdown, farmers are unable to sell their produce anywhere, making it hard for them to repay their loans.

After requesting the RBI and NABARD, the state government has extended the period of loan repayment till May 31, Patel said.

This decision will benefit as many as 24,31,149 farmers in the state and will put an additional burden of Rs 160 crore on the state government in repayment of interest, he added.

PTI

About the Author

Live Updates COVID-19 CASES