HCMS doctors allege corruption, favouritism nexus in Haryana Health Dept, threaten agitation
Haryana: Alleging favouritism nexus in the postings of top health officials and rampant corruption in the state health department, doctors under the umbrella of Haryana Civil Medical Services Association (HCMSA) have threatened to launch a state-wide agitation if the state government fails to addresses their concerns.
The doctors submitted their demands before the concerned government officials on September 13.
In a statement, the doctors' body maintained that there was a deep-rooted nexus in the department at all levels.
"It is now an open secret that money is demanded for transfers, postings, promotions, deputations, leaves, dropping of charge sheets and so on," a statement issued by association president Dr Jasbir Parmar said.
They further alleged that despite the presence of senior health officers in the department, the decisions related to all important policy works rest with one particular director. They added that the bureaucrats are also involved in corruption and favoritism.
The doctors cited an example of a recently passed policy by the same director on the formation of a specialist cadre without taking into consideration the suggestions from HCMSA and other associated senior officials of the health department.
Many senior doctors, according to the HCMSA, were disrespectfully exited, by issuing a notification that stated them as retired while the officer associated with the passing of the policy was given an extension in service. They also expressed their resentment against the retirement age being reduced from 65 to 58 years for the HCMSA doctors. The said notification was issued on 1st September 2021.
Dr Jasbir Singh Parmar, president of the HCMSA told the Times of India that the HCMSA had put forward a proposal regarding the formation of a specialist cadre similar to that in Bihar, but the policy drafted regarding the same by the director is "bizarre". The HCMSA wanted the specialist cadre in the pattern of Bihar to be implemented.
"Association has represented many times but unfortunately no meeting has been fixed by ACS health to discuss these issues", HCMSA added.
Dr Singh further told the daily that they have been demanding a pay structure similar to that of the other states. He alleged that 4 ACP at 4, 9, 13, 20 years which were sanctioned by the Chief Minister and the Health Minister of Haryana are yet to be taken up in the finance department.
He also demanded to cease the policy of direct recruitment of senior medical officers. "Due to direct recruitment of SMO there is stagnation in HCMS cadre, 95% cadre has only one promotion avenue throughout entire service. The same had been approved by CM and HM in 2017 but bureaucracy is bent upon to recruit direct SMO for some vested interest", added Dr Singh.
Threatening to go on a strike, Dr Singh demanded the government to take up and solve these issues at the earliest and the inconvenience caused to the public would have to be borne by the government. He also gave the example of Harayana Chief Minister, Haryana Health Minister and the Prime Minister, saying that they also took an anti-corruption stand whereas the health department is working in contrast to such statements.
While speaking to the Tribune, Dr. Singh said that there is a lot of resentment amongst the HCMS doctors for the state leadership because of the non-fulfillment of their long-standing demands and the bureaucratic hindrances that kept their demands pending.
However, Rajeev Arora, the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Health & Family Welfare, Health Department of Haryana denied such reports of corruption and favouritism in the health department. He said they mostly accept the demands of the doctor and the pay structure followed by them is decent and fair.
As per the director the direct recruitment policy, which Dr Singh had earlier criticized, is part of their service rules which they have been following for a long time.
"Present DGHS and many other officers got selected after direct process. For all the SMO posts, there is a 75% quota through promotions and 25% through direct quota. This policy is there for a long time," he added.
He also spoke to the daily about the specialist cadre issue raised by the HCMSA, "This cadre has not been formed yet but the department has only uploaded a concept (draft policy) on its website of the health department. Comments have been sought from all the concerned stakeholder and after receiving comments from all, each and every comment will be analysed and required changes will be made. Then we will come out with a final policy. Even the government of India is saying to create a specialist cadre to attract the best people in India."