The tenure of short service commission (SSC) doctors in the Armed Forces Medical Service (AFMS) has been extended from 10 to 14 years, with the cabinet Thursday approving the move.
"With the extended tenure, SSC doctors will also be eligible for time-scale promotions as applicable to permanent commission doctors," Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters here after a cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"This decision will help mitigate the shortage of officers in the AFMS. It will bring about parity with the existing time scale promotions available to the permanent commissioned officers and meet the career aspirations of SSC officers in the AFMS," Dasmunsi added.
The existing 10-year tenure of SSC officers in the AFMS was based on the tenure earlier prevalent in the three services, a defence ministry background note said.
"However, the total tenure of SSC officers in the three services has already been increased from 10 to 14 years. Therefore, there was a need for revision of tenure of SSC officers of the AFMS on a similar pattern," the note stated.
"The AFMS cadre is also experiencing a shortage of doctors due to a high rate of attrition. This (extended tenure) will reduce the deficiency and the experience of (SSC) officers can also be utilised for a longer tenure," the note added.