Govt. doctors’ DAT allowance increased | Daily News


Govt. doctors’ DAT allowance increased

Rs. 50,000 for MBBS doctors, Rs. 60,000 for Consultants

The government has decided to increase the Disturbance, Availability and Transport (DAT) allowance paid to government doctors from Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 50,000 in respect of MBBS qualified doctors and to Rs. 60,000 in respect of Consultant government doctors,

The decision was made following discussions a GMOA delegation had with Finance and Mass Media Ministry Secretary Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, a Treasury spokesman said.

Accordingly, all 18,000 government doctors will be entitled to receive this allowance.

The increased spending on this item would pose additional challenges for the Treasury to find revenue to meet its cost, he said. However, there has been no proper transparent procedure in the payment of the allowance so far, he said.

A spokesman for the health sector said that even though the allowance is paid to all doctors at present, there is no proper system available to ascertain whether a doctor had engaged in call service.

The allowance was warranted in the past due to the war situation in the country, he said.

The Treasury which denied GMOA allegations that the new Inland Revenue Act would be detrimental to government doctors said only a doctor earning over Rs. 350,000 per month would be required to pay the 24 er cent tax on the earnings.

A doctor would have to engage in private practice to earn over Rs. 350,000 per month. Government doctors not engaged in private practice will have to pay a maximum of 14 per cent tax under the new Inland Revenue Act.

A government doctor gets a Rs. 3.6 million tax free vehicle permit. A doctor entering government service at the age of 30 years and retiring at the age of 60 would have received tax relief amounting to six times of Rs. 3.6 million.

It was the ordinary people who had to bear the cost of these tax relief measures offered to doctors, he said.

Moreover, the GMOA is only interested in minimum qualifications for entering private medical education without taking any interest in improving the quality of private medical education, he said.

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