Do Doctors Get Holidays in India?


Doctors in India work tirelessly to ensure the well-being of their patients, often facing long hours and high levels of stress. With such demanding schedules, a common question arises: do doctors in India get holidays? Understanding the holiday structure for medical professionals can provide insights into their work-life balance and overall well-being.

Browse best Scrubs Collection

General Holiday Structure for Doctors

Public and National Holidays

In India, doctors, like other professionals, are entitled to public and national holidays. These include major holidays such as Republic Day, Independence Day, Diwali, Holi, and more. However, the extent to which they can avail of these holidays often depends on the healthcare facility they are associated with and their specific roles and responsibilities.

Scheduled Leave

Doctors in government hospitals and many private institutions are entitled to a certain number of leave days each year. These typically include:

  • Casual Leave (CL): Usually around 12 days a year, which can be taken for personal reasons.
  • Earned Leave (EL): Accumulated based on the number of days worked, often around 30 days a year.
  • Medical Leave (ML): Granted when a doctor is unwell and needs time off to recover.

Challenges in Availing Holidays

Emergency Services

Doctors who work in emergency services, intensive care units (ICUs), or trauma centers often find it challenging to take holidays. Their presence is critical, and they may need to be on call even during public holidays and weekends.

Patient Commitments

Doctors in private practice or those with a significant patient load may also find it difficult to take extended holidays. Their patients rely on them for continuous care, and arranging for a substitute can be challenging.

Workload and Shortage of Staff

In many hospitals, especially in rural areas, there is often a shortage of medical staff. This shortage increases the workload on the available doctors, making it difficult for them to take time off.

Explore All Women's Scrub

Flexible Work Arrangements

Rotational Shifts

To manage the need for continuous medical care, many hospitals implement rotational shifts. This system allows doctors to take breaks and holidays without compromising patient care.

Locum Tenens

Locum tenens (temporary substitute doctors) can be employed to cover for regular doctors who are on holiday. This practice is more common in private hospitals and larger medical institutions.

Work-Life Balance for Doctors

Importance of Breaks

Regular breaks and holidays are crucial for doctors to avoid burnout, reduce stress, and maintain their mental and physical health. Hospitals and healthcare institutions are increasingly recognizing this need and are trying to implement better leave policies.

Encouragement from Institutions

Some progressive hospitals and medical institutions encourage doctors to take their allotted leave and provide support systems to manage their absence. This includes arranging for locum tenens and distributing the workload among other staff members.


Do doctors in India get public holidays off?

Doctors are entitled to public holidays, but their ability to take them off depends on their specific roles and the healthcare facility they work in.

How many leave days are doctors entitled to in India?

Doctors typically get around 12 casual leave days, 30 earned leave days, and medical leave as needed.

Can doctors take extended holidays in India?

Extended holidays can be challenging due to patient commitments and staffing shortages, but they are possible with proper planning.

Are there specific holidays that doctors in India must work?

Doctors in emergency services and critical care units often work during public holidays due to the nature of their duties.

How do hospitals manage when doctors take holidays?

Hospitals use rotational shifts and employ locum tenens to cover for doctors on holiday.

Do private practice doctors get holidays?

Private practice doctors can take holidays, but they must manage their patient appointments and find suitable substitutes.

What is the impact of not taking holidays for doctors?

Not taking holidays can lead to burnout, increased stress, and health issues for doctors.

How do doctors plan their holidays?

Doctors typically plan holidays in advance, coordinating with their colleagues and management to ensure patient care is not compromised.

Do doctors in rural areas get holidays?

Doctors in rural areas face more challenges due to staff shortages, but they are still entitled to holidays.

Are there any special leave policies for doctors in India?

Some hospitals have progressive leave policies encouraging doctors to take breaks and providing support to manage their absence.

How can doctors ensure a work-life balance?

By planning holidays in advance, using rotational shifts, and taking regular breaks, doctors can maintain a work-life balance.

What support do hospitals provide for doctors on leave?

Hospitals may provide locum tenens, distribute workload among other staff, and encourage regular breaks for doctors.

Are there differences in holiday policies between government and private hospitals?

Government hospitals typically have more structured leave policies, while private hospitals may offer more flexibility but depend on the institution's policies.

How important are holidays for doctors' mental health?

Holidays are crucial for doctors' mental health, helping them to recharge, reduce stress, and prevent burnout.