Haryana Government Doctors Plan Agitation Over Unfulfilled Promises

HCMSA members are particularly upset about the high bond amounts required for doctors pursuing in-service postgraduate courses
The doctors have expressed frustration over issues such as the revision of bond amounts for postgraduate courses and the creation of a distinct cadre for specialists. (Representational image: Wikimedia Commons)
The doctors have expressed frustration over issues such as the revision of bond amounts for postgraduate courses and the creation of a distinct cadre for specialists. (Representational image: Wikimedia Commons)

Government doctors in Haryana, under the banner of the Haryana Civil Medical Services Association (HCMSA), are planning to start an agitation on July 1, citing unfulfilled promises by the state government. The doctors have expressed frustration over issues such as the revision of bond amounts for postgraduate courses and the creation of a distinct cadre for specialists. Despite assurances given in meetings with government officials, these issues remain unresolved.

HCMSA members are particularly upset about the high bond amounts required for doctors pursuing in-service postgraduate courses. They argue that the current requirement of two bonds worth ₹1 crore each is too burdensome. Although it was previously agreed to reduce this amount to ₹50 lakh in surety and ₹50 lakh in post-dated checks, the notification for this change has been delayed.

Dr. Anil Yadav, the General Secretary of HCMSA, highlighted the widespread resentment among members, stating that the government has not honored the commitments made in meetings held in December 2023 and January 2024. The association had previously postponed an indefinite strike in hopes that their demands would be met. However, the continued lack of progress has led to plans for agitation. "We were promised that our demands would be met in a time-bound manner, but after five months, nothing has been done yet," Dr. Yadav said.

Although it was previously agreed to reduce this amount to ₹50 lakh in surety and ₹50 lakh in post-dated checks, the notification for this change has been delayed. (Representational image: Unsplash)
Although it was previously agreed to reduce this amount to ₹50 lakh in surety and ₹50 lakh in post-dated checks, the notification for this change has been delayed. (Representational image: Unsplash)

The association is also pushing for better career progression opportunities. Currently, about 95% of doctors in the cadre only receive one promotion throughout their careers, from medical officer to senior medical officer, often after 20–22 years of service. Despite an agreement that there would be no direct recruitment at the Senior Medical Officer level and that service rules would be amended, no action has been taken by the Director-General of Health Services (DGHS) office.

In addition, there is a significant shortage of specialist doctors in Haryana. The association has been urging the state government to establish a specialist cadre to attract and retain these professionals. Former Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had announced plans for such a cadre, but no concrete steps have been taken to implement it.

The agitation planned for July 1 coincides with Doctors' Day, emphasizing the critical role of healthcare professionals. Dr. Rajesh Khyalia, president of the association, pointed out the stagnation within the cadre due to limited promotional avenues. He mentioned that in the January meeting, it was decided that doctors should receive career progression or allowances comparable to those of central government doctors. However, no proposals have been initiated to this effect.

Despite the plans for agitation, the association aims to avoid a full strike to ensure patient care is not disrupted. "We are demanding better health facilities for the people of Haryana. If our suffering is not taken care of, how can we serve people?" Dr. Yadav remarked, stressing the importance of resolving these issues to retain doctors and provide a supportive working environment.

A meeting with the Additional Chief Secretary is scheduled to discuss these concerns. The association hopes that the state government will take immediate steps to address their demands and prevent the planned agitation.

(Input from various sources)

(Rehash/ Susmita Bhandary/MSM)

The doctors have expressed frustration over issues such as the revision of bond amounts for postgraduate courses and the creation of a distinct cadre for specialists. (Representational image: Wikimedia Commons)
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