Around 8,000 health services officers who work at the state-run rural and district hospitals and health centres went on an indefinite strike on Tuesday demanding better salaries as per the Sixth Pay Commission.
About 112 health officers who work at the Sir JJ Group of Hospitals and Nagpada Police Hospital will join on Friday.
The health officers continued to treat emergency cases and conduct post-mortems. But they plan to stop these, too, if their demands are not addressed by July 23.
The officers, who are united under the banner of the Federation of Health Officers Association (FOHA), also want their non-practising allowance — given as they don’t get to work privately for an additional income — to be raised from 25 per cent of their salary to 35 percent if they are working in urban areas and 50 per cent if they are working in rural areas.
“The government must give an incentive to health officers who work in difficult conditions in rural and Naxalite areas,” said FOHA President Dr Ashok Kamble. The current salaries of health officers range between Rs 24,000 to Rs 27,000.
FOHA’s other demand is the implementation of the centre’s Dynamic Assured Career Prog-ression Scheme under which health officers are promoted regularly. They also want the vacant posts to be filled.
Dr DS Dakhure, state director general of health services said: “We met CM Ashok Cha-van and he has agreed to increase their pay scales.”
The Maharashtra Associa-tion of Resident Doctors and Indian Medical Association have also pledged their support.