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Study shows AIIMS doctors are well paid

New Delhi: As opposed to the popular perception that the private sector honey trap most of the government sector doctors to consider their offers for hefty pay packages, a government run institution AIIMS presents a rosy picture by giving its faculty a good salary package besides various other perks and allowances.

A study of cost incurred by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi on various categories of its faculty members, carried out by the department of hospital administration using the cost to company (CTC) method, has revealed that a professor is paid Rs 23 lakh on initial appointment and the total figure comes around Rs 34.81 lakh per annum using the CTC method.

The study, which was carried out over a period of six months from October 2012 to March 2013, has showed that the international trips for attending conferences, the office maintenance and paying the secretarial staff constitute almost 30-40 per cent of the annual salary.

AIIMS professors and additional professors are entitled to attend one international conference every year and associate professors and assistant professors get this opportunity once in two years. Also, faculty members of the institute are permitted to attend conferences, workshops etc within India and in SAARC countries, out of which four national conferences are being supported from the institute’s funds.

An international conference costs around Rs 2.49 lakh per faculty member per year and conferences in India or in SAARC countries costs about Rs 87 thousand per faculty member per year. In 2012-2013 alone, AIIMS spent Rs 4.44 crore on doctors’ international trips and Rs 4.25 crore on their domestic travel.

The accommodation provided to the professor and additional professor by the institute carries a market rent of Rs 1.5 lakh per month whereas that provided to the associate professor or assistant professor carries a market rent of Rs 60,000 per month in the prime location of South Delhi.

The institute also spends around Rs 81,000 annually on a professor as his learning resource allowance and re-imbursement of telephone bills.

In total, an additional professor earns around Rs 29.94 lakh per annum, an associate professor around Rs 25.88 lakh per annum and an assistant professor around Rs 20.71 lakh per annum, using the CTC method.

Dr Shakti K Gupta, who heads the hospital administration department of AIIMS, New Delhi shared with India Medical Times, “It is not only a good pay but a good work environment and the opportunity to serve people at AIIMS that stopped many doctors from joining the private hospitals. Those who chose to leave AIIMS for more money in private hospitals in India and overseas did not realize that it’s a privilege to work in such an institution as we support their research, education and growth. There is only patient care in private hospitals and little scope for further learning.”

As per the study, “In addition to the above, the legal expenses arising out of any litigation or court cases filed against any faculty members of AIIMS in the course of discharging their official duties are being borne by the institute. The AIIMS has appointed eminent lawyer for the purpose who represents the faculty members in various courts. Also, the institute provides a secure environment as security guards are deployed in the residential campus at four locations, thereby ensuring security of the residential accommodation including the family members of the faculty and personal belongings.”

However, given the numbers, the institute faces a severe staff shortage. It is short of 119 associate professors and 402 assistant professors.

So, what lures the AIIMS doctors to quit the institute to find newer pastures? Perhaps, it’s time that the institute gives a fresh look to the major reasons behind the reported “exodus” of its senior doctors. An overhaul of administrative policies, a transparent system of promotion and humane working hours could be taken as priority to mark a new beginning.

by Vidhi Rathee

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