Services have been hit at government-run hospitals — Aundh District hospital, regional mental hospital, 24 rural hospitals and over 90 primary health centres — as around 10,000 medical officers in the state who are part of the Maharashtra Association for Gazetted Officers (MAGMO) went on an indefinite strike from July 1. The situation is likely to get worse as 620 members of the civil surgeons cadre association that include civil surgeons, medical superintendents at rural hospitals and others are all set to join the stir on July 3.
Dr Rajesh Gaikwad, President of MAGMO, and Dr Pramod Rakshamwar, state secretary general of MAGMO, are already on an indefinite hunger strike at Azad Maidan in Mumbai.
“Our basic demands remain the same. There is no clear cut written acceptance from the state regarding absorption of those working on contractual basis, non-practising allowance, performance-based promotions and payment of arrears of salary in accordance with
Sixth Pay Commission,” Gaikwad said. These associations had gone on an indefinite strike in the first week of June and
had withdrawn the stir following assurances from the state government.
In Pune district there are 118 medical officers. “We serve around 80% people in the state, yet our comforts have always been ignored by the state government, because of which doctors no longer prefer having government jobs,” Gaikwad said. The main demands include absorption of medical officers who joined services in 2009-10. The demand is that they should be given back-date effects that have been denied for more than two decades. Other demands include pay commission arrears to be given from 2006 like in the case of all other government employees and not from 2009, departmental promotions to both BAMS and MBBS medical officers depending on seniority and providing non-practising allowance option.
Dr Ashok Nandapurkar, district civil surgeon said that they will also boycott all the meetings on July 3 and join the stir. Civil surgeons and specialist doctors working at state-run hospitals besides district health officers (DHOs) and equivalent senior cadre officers posted at administrative offices of the state public health department will participate in the agitation. They too had stopped work in the first week of June and had called off the stir following assurances to resolve their grievances.
“Our long-pending demands include extending retirement age from 58 years to 62 years, implementation of special increments and Dynamic Assured Career Progression Scheme among others. Senior cadre officers under the state health department do not get the benefit of special increments. The same has been made applicable to junior cadre officers. This has resulted in disparity in salary structures and created unrest among the senior officers,” Nandapurkar said.