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G-B governor reduces retirement age cap for doctors
GILGIT: Gilgit-Baltistan Governor Syed Mehdi Shah has approved an ordinance to reduce the upper age limit for the retirement of doctors from 65 to 60 years.
In August, GB Chief Minister Gulbar Khan had also issued an order to stop the implementation of a bill passed by the G-B Assembly, raising the retirement age of doctors to 65 years.
The move came after doctors expressed intense opposition to the increase in the retirement age.
The Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly was not in session when the decision was made. The ordinance, citing urgent circumstances, was issued under Article-74 of the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan Order, 2018. It repeals the previous provision that set the retirement age for clinical cadre doctors and allied nursing specialties, including MSN/BSN technologies in anesthesia, ICU, radiology, pathology, and OT, at 65 years.
Earlier in April, the GB Assembly had passed a bill, increasing the retirement age of doctors to 65 in the region.
This was followed by a notification from the GB government last month, which extended the retirement age for all clinical cadre doctors, BSN nurses, and technicians in radiology, anesthesia, and ICU to 65 years.
However, the decision faced strong opposition from the GB Young Doctors’ Association and the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA).
They criticized the move as a ‘black law’, arguing that it would hinder the appointment of new doctors and block the promotion of junior doctors.
In response to the government’s initial decision, doctors across the region boycotted outpatient departments (OPDs) in all government hospitals on August 26. This led to the G-B Chief Minister, Gulbar Khan, ordering a halt to the implementation of the bill on August 17.
The latest development has been welcomed by the medical community. GB Young Doctors’ Association President Dr Bahadur Shah expressed satisfaction over the fulfillment of their legitimate demand. He extended his gratitude to the chief minister, the health minister and others for meeting their demand.