Doctor’s call-off strike after Chief Minister’s assurance



Striking doctors today called off their strike after an assurance from Chief Minister Mr. Virbhadra Singh that their demands would be considered sympathetically, provided the Himachal Medical Officers Association (HMOA) will withdraw their petition from the State High Court to which the HMOA agreed for the same and promised to withdraw the petition. Mr. Kaul Singh Thakur, Health Minister, Mr. G.S. Bali, Transport and Food and Civil Supply Minister, Dr. (Col) Dhani Ram Shandil, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, and Secretary Health Mr. P.C Dhiman were also present on the occasion.

In a meeting of Himachal Medical Officers Association with the Chief Minister here today, that lasted for over an hour in Vidhan Sabha it was decided that the proposal to amend Himachal Pradesh Medicare Services Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (prevention of violence and damage to property), Act, 2010, and make it a non–bail able offence, the Chief Minister said that the proposal to amend the Act will be brought to the Cabinet for discussion.

The government agreed upon the demand regarding grant of four tier pay scales including those on contract, Rogi Kalyan Samitis and ad-hoc services to all HPHS-I. Consensus was reached upon on the issue of earned leaves where it was decided that the power of sanctioning leave up to 30 days will vest with the Chief Medical Officers, for leave period up to 3 months will be with the Directorate of Health Services and for more than three months the Secretary Health will be the leave sanctioning authority.

As per the demands of withdrawing notifications regarding Medical Officers as Food Safety Officers, it was agreed upon and conveyed that it was an interim measure and would be removed as early as possible. After the detailed discussion it was agreed upon by HMOA that the doctors would prescribe medicines in clear and legible words. Further it was also agreed upon that the doctors would prescribe generic medicines of reputed firms except in case of serious ailments where the patients require specific treatment and medicines.

On assurance of the Chief Minister, HMOA agreed that the appointments of program officers would be made keeping in view the seniority. Regarding the demands of defining duty hours for doctors, it was agreed that the doctor’s services were essential and they need to be available to the public at all time and their demands of fixing timings for duty was dropped.

Regarding the demand of the association for 90% seats for regular HPHS-I, the matter would be discussed in the Cabinet said the Chief Minister along with the matter for creation of posts of Senior Medical Superintendents.

The demand regarding regularization of contractual medical officers after five years of continued service, it was decided to accept the same provided the recruiting of doctors on ad-hoc basis would be examined. Regarding demand of not posting Ayurveda doctors in allopathic institutions, it was informed that such doctors are not being appointed now. The Chief Minister also accepted the demand of telephone allowance to the contract medical officers.

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