In order to further their demands for the creation of a specialized cadre and a decrease in the bond amount for postgraduate courses, government doctors in Haryana embarked on a daylong strike on Friday. This action had an impact on the outpatient department (OPD) services provided by various hospitals. The state's government doctors have embarked on a strike for the second time this week.
Wednesday was their first strike day. After being guaranteed by the authorities that they would meet with the health minister on Monday, the doctors who had been demonstrating on Friday night returned to work. The Haryana Civil Medical Services Association (HCMS), a group that advocates for government physicians in the state, called for a walkout during the strike.
In the meantime, the Health Department canceled all physician leaves due to the strike, mobilizing some 3,000 physicians to minimize any negative effects on healthcare services, as per a statement released on Friday. Approximately 3,000 doctors, including consultants, senior consultants, National Health Mission physicians, medical officers from medical colleges, and community health officers, have been mobilized by the health department, according to Health Minister Anil Vij.
Normal duties resumed
"We have resumed our normal duties," stated Dr. Anil Yadav to PTI, general secretary of HCMS. The conclusion of Monday's meeting will now determine the next line of action. "We are hopeful that all our demands will be met," he stated. However, he stated that emergency services continued to operate normally during the day but outpatient department services at government-run hospitals were discontinued.
We refrained from fully shutting down services in light of the promise of a meeting with the administration to discuss our demands and the greater good of the public, he added, adding that emergency services were handled on Friday.
He also told PTI that a meeting with the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) of Haryana took place on Friday. The official statement states that the DGHS Randeep Singh Poonia, along with senior health department officials, met with the HCMS representatives to discuss a number of demands made by the doctors' body, including the creation of a specialist cadre, changes to the PG policy, and pay revisions.
HCMSA office-bearers were briefed during the meeting that the state government is thinking about changing PG policy and pay while the specialized cadre has been approved. It stated that the association's demands are being addressed with the utmost priority.
Demands of the doctors
Notably, HCMS had on Wednesday said that doctors would go on an indefinite strike from Friday with a complete shutdown of all services if the government did not accept their demands. Among the doctors' demands are formation of a specialist cadre for doctors, reduction in the bond amount for postgraduate courses and a dynamic assured career progression scheme at par with central government doctors.
(With inputs from PTI)