Medical services hit in Punjab as government doctors observe day-long strike

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI:  An association of resident doctors association has approached the National Human Rights Commission regarding the matter of cancellation of  maternity leaves of Diplomate of National Board (DNB) doctors.

The Federation of Resident Doctor’s Association (FORDA) has written to the NHRC that till 2018, DNB doctors were getting maternity benefits of 12 weeks as per GoI regulations but the National Board of Examination (NBE) withdrew the provision. “This step was taken after the welcome move of GoI to increase maternity benefit from 12 weeks to 26 weeks as per the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act. This stands totally unreasonable,” it said.

“Given our avowed constitutional goals, if a clause, stipulating that availment of maternity leave, by a DM candidate, would necessarily result in delay in awarding of the DM qualification to the candidate by six months, were to be enforced, such enforcement might be perilously pregnable to challenge, as violating Article 42 of the Constitution,” it added.

The association has also referred to Article 15, which directs the state to make any special provision in favour of women and children, and also the National Policy for the Empowerment of Women to present its case.

In a letter to the Union Health Minister,  FORDA had mentioned how the ‘Maternity Amendment Bill’ was passed extending the maternity leaves to 26 weeks from the previous period of 12 weeks. However, the same benefits were denied to the DNB doctors by NBE, it added.”Withdrawing maternity leave is a serious violation of basic rights of the female resident doctors.”