The Haryana Civil Medical Services Association on Saturday said that doctors of government hospitals in the State would go on a strike from Monday. The association said that the out-patient department (OPD) services will remain closed from Monday and all services including emergency and post-mortem will be stopped from December 14 till their demands were met.
In a memorandum to the chief minister, Haryana Civil Medical Services (HCMS) Association, said that their three important demands – creation of a specialist cadre, recruitment of direct senior medical officers (SMOs) to be stopped and amendment in post-graduate policy – had been pending and despite multiple representations to the government, the issues had not been taken seriously by the government.
“This is causing great resentment in the cadre. The doctors are being forced to go on the path of agitation. Earlier, on November 9, doctors wore black badges and on November 12, a token pen down strike for two hours was observed throughout the State,” said the memorandum.
The association said that in a meeting held on December 5, they decided that if their demands were not resolved within a week, the doctors would be forced to close OPD services from Monday and to stop all services including emergency and post mortem from December 14 till their demands were met.
Dr M P Singh, vice president, HCMS association, said, “We had a meeting with director general health services yesterday to discuss our demands. The meeting was cordial. Later, another meeting was held with ACS health. In that meeting, our demands were not paid heed to. We wanted to resolve the issue but there was an impasse. The behaviour of the state officials in the meeting was humiliating and unacceptable. Thereafter, we held a meeting with core committee of our association and unanimously decided to call a strike in all the districts.”
Rajeev Arora, additional chief secretary, health and family welfare, Haryana, said, that he met the association members yesterday and informed them that work was already underway regarding two of their demands.
“The association has made three demands. We are already working on the demand for creation of a specialist cadre. In the past 6-8 months, I prepared a concept note and submitted it to the government. It was then put up on the website for a month to take inputs from all quarters in October. We are compiling the comments and are in the final stages of finalising our proposal. The PG policy revision is a continuous process. It has been revised twice under my tenure and I have again taken the initiative to revise the policy. The draft has been prepared and it will be submitted to the health minister and CM in the next ten days. We are working on these demands on our initiative solely. I fail to understand how these are the reasons to go on a strike.”
On the third demand of stopping the direct recruitment of SMO, Arora said that SMO recruitment is part of service bylaws. “It is not the first time the SMO recruitment is taking place and this kind of dispensation (direct recruitment and promotion quota) exists in all the services. It has been there from times immemorial. The main sticking point of the meeting was regarding stopping of SMO recruitment. Going on a strike over this issue is blackmailing and they are trying to browbeat others. The Health Minister has given them time to meet on December 14 and we are also discussing the matter with the association.”