Mrunal Manmay Dash

Ayush doctors recruited under the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) scheme 2013 on Saturday staged a dharna and threatened to go on a mass leave if their jobs were not regularised by January 16, 2024.

The doctors alleged that despite doing the same work as regular doctors, they have been ignored by the government. While they have been working with a bare minimum salary for years, the doctors alleged that the government has cheated them by excluding them from its contractual employee abolishment policy.

Speaking about the strike, the president of Ayush Doctor’s Association, Prabhat Mohanty said, “We want the government to regularise RBSK Ayush doctors. We have come to know that the Health Secretary has intimated to the inter-ministerial committee about our demands. Even the Mission Director of NHM knows about our condition and demands.”

The government is saying it will hike our salaries. But it will not suffice. We need our jobs to be regularised. If the government reduces our salary, so be it. But we want regularisation at any cost,” he added.

“We will stage a cease-work strike if the government does not consider our demands on or before January 16. The government cannot threaten us with ESMA,” Mohanty said.

The doctors, who are on contract, are getting less than half the salary of regular doctors

The State has a total of 4,095 posts of AYUSH doctors in four categories, including 1,270 regular ones appointed as Class II employees. The most neglected are the contractual doctors of both Ayurveda and Homeopathy disciplines recruited under the National Health Mission (NHM) and Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) schemes.