In a bid to tide over the acute shortage of doctors in the government healthcare sector, the Manohar Lal Khattar Government has chalked out a policy for creation of a “specialist cadre for doctors” in the state.
A first-of-its-kind policy in Haryana has proposed lucrative pay scales and designations to attract new specialists to join the state’s Health Department and to retain the specialists already working in the Department.
The draft policy released by the State Government has proposed a strength of 3148 doctors in general cadre and 2090 in specialist cadre in the Health Department. These doctors include medical officers, senior medical officers, civil surgeons, DHS, ADGHS, DGHS, senior consultants, Deputation/PG/Leave Reserve.
Under this, 1516 posts of general cadre are proposed to be shifted to specialist cadre. Apart from this, additional posts proposed for specialist doctors include 574 HCMS (Haryana Civil Medical Service) and 10 HCDS (Haryana Civil Dental Services).
“The recruitment process will be separate for both the cadres namely general cadre and specialist cadre and would be done every year at the level of Director General Health Services through Departmental High Powered Selection Committee by taking the recruitment out of the purview of Haryana Public Service Commission for both HCMS and HCDS cadres, as being done presently in case of medical officers. The vacancies would be calculated in the month of October every year and the recruitment process would be completed by January,” the draft policy stated.
“With upgraded hospitals (e.g. Operation Theaters, Mother & Child Healthcare, Trauma Services and CT, MRI, Cardiac, Cardiology Services in PPP mode etc.) creation of specialist cadre is judicious,” it said.
At present, there are seven levels of doctors in the HCMS cadre and the same are proposed to be retained on general cadre and on the similar pattern, seven levels have been proposed in specialists’ cadre but with higher pay scales. One new post of Chief Specialist or Specialist-in-Chief is proposed to be created and posted in District Civil Hospitals only.
Under the policy, the specialists of Hospital Administration. Public Health and Community Medicine would be posted on the administrative side but their seniority or pay structure would be as per the specialist cadre.
The policy also proposed that five doctors each of senior medical officer and medical officer with the qualification of Public Health, Hospital Administration and Community Medicine shall be posted at state headquarter, but they would remain the part of the specialist cadre. The Dental doctors with post graduate qualification of Prosthodontics and Orthodontics shall also be part of the specialist cadre; however, their services would be utilized as and when the State Government decides to start the specialty clinics.
As per the policy, the priority of posting of specialists would be in the following manner: District hospital, SDH (Sub District/ Divisional Hospital), 50 bedded hospitals and Community Health Centres.
“The HOD is proposed to be from the general cadre. One post of DGHS would be retained on the general side and the second post would be for specialists cadre. The Department may, at an interval of every five years or such other intervals, as may be necessary, re-examine the strength and composition of the cadre and máke such alterations therein,” the policy added.
Notably, the policy for creating a “specialist cadre for doctors” has been released after a delay of more than one and a half year. It was in 2019 when the State Government had approved the proposal to come out with this policy.
The HCMS Association and specialists working in the Health Department had been raising the demand for creation of a “specialist cadre for doctors” in the state.
Also, the policy has been released at the time when the State Government is focusing on strengthening its health infrastructure in view of the anticipated third wave of COVID-19 in the country. During the fierce first and second waves of COVID-19, Haryana had witnessed shortage of specialists and also, paramedical professionals.
In a notification issued last week, the State Government had reduced the retirement age of doctors from 65 years to 58 years in Haryana with effect from September 30, 2021.