Plus - Letter to the editor

Re-employed doctors in NE given paltry salaries

Registered Medical Officers (RMOs) who had retired after 1995 had been serving in remote and rural areas in all nine provinces in the country before the Provincial Councils were created. Some of these RMOs were re-employed in the Northern and Easters Provinces. Up to December 31, 2007, they were drawing a salary equal to the last salary at the time of their retirement.

The terms of re-employment were changed on January 1, 2008. Retired RMOs 67 years and over would be re-employed on a contract basis and given a monthly salary of Rs. 20,000. However, their last salary was more than Rs. 30,000.

This Rs. 10,000 cut is very unfair. To begin with, this is a very low salary for very senior RMOs whose duties have not changed since January 1, 2008.

The Rs. 20,000 compares unfavourably with salaries doctors in the Eastern Province are getting, and even with the salaries of the medical assistants who work directly under them. Government regulations do not limit salary payments based on the pensions of retired persons hired by the government on a contract basis.

These RMOs have asked the authorities to restore the salary scale prior to January 1, 2008. They have appealed to the Northern Province Governor and other authorities. They are confident the Cabinet will give them redress on the recommendation of Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, and the Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda.

M. Velautham, Nallur, Jaffna

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