Doctors respond to Minister’s assurance, aim to find common ground on NPA restoration and streamlined promotion policies

Shimla – Doctors in Himachal Pradesh have decided to reduce the duration of their pen-down strike after receiving assurance from Cabinet Minister Harsh Vardhan Chauhan. The strike, initiated by the Himachal Pradesh Doctors Association Joint Sangharsh Samiti in protest against the abolition of Non-Practice Allowance (NPA), will now be halved following a meeting between the Samiti members and the Minister, as called by the Chief Minister on May 30.

During a subsequent meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Doctors Association Joint Sangharsh Samiti on Wednesday morning, it was unanimously agreed to shorten the duration of the pen-down strike. The Minister has assured the Samiti that discussions with the Chief Minister will take place on June 3, following which the committee will determine their next course of action. The meeting addressed the demands presented by doctors from across the state.

One of the key demands put forward by the committee is the immediate withdrawal or amendment of recently issued notifications. Doctors express concern about the scarcity of promotional posts, as the 4-9-14 time scale for doctors has been discontinued in the latest pay commission notification. This affects the promotion prospects of Medical Officers aspiring to become Block Medical Officers (BMO). The committee urges the continuation of the 4-9-14 time scale, providing hope for doctors who have been waiting for promotions for years.

Another demand focuses on the Dynamic Assured Career Progression Scheme, advocating for the timely filling of faculty positions, senior residents, and tutor specialists in Government Medical Colleges. By ensuring a continuous recruitment process, eligible candidates will not have to endure prolonged waiting periods.

The committee also calls for streamlined promotion procedures, suggesting that direct recruitment be limited to the position of Assistant Professor, with subsequent promotions to Associate Professor and Professor roles. They propose that promotions from Assistant Professor to Professor should occur under the Dynamic Assured Career Progression Scheme, with fixed timeframes for promotions. Such measures aim to boost the morale of doctors and discourage migration to other regions.

The decision to reduce the duration of the pen-down strike brings relief to patients across Himachal Pradesh, as doctors resume their critical services. The ongoing dialogue between the Sangharsh Samiti and the Minister offers hope for a resolution to the doctors’ demands.