Manipur government prohibits agitation by medical doctors

In a bid to discourage doctors from joining agitations under All Manipur Health Service Doctors Association (AMHSDA), the Manipur Health Services is going to monitor the attendance of the doctors in government healthcare centres.

The state Health services, in an order issued on Monday, directed all chief medical officers and medical superintendents to submit daily attendance and duty report of the doctors in their respective hospitals and healthcare centres at 5 pm without fail.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors of state Health services under the aegis of AMHSDA announced a series of agitations alleging government’s failure to address their demands despite repeated submission. They threatened to commence the series of agitation from December 21 by wearing black badges for five days beginning till December 26 while discharging their duties.

On learning that the doctors are on agitation mode, the Home department of Manipur government, in an order issued on December 19, prohibited any form of agitation which disrupts or dislocates the functioning of the government health services.

As per the order issued under Manipur Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1984, no person employed in any essential services shall go or remain on strike and any strike declared or commenced, whether before or after the issue of the order shall be illegal. 
The order will be valid for six months.

Following the order of the Home department, the state Health service on Monday informed all the officers of Manipur Health Services (MHS) to continue providing all healthcare services including emergency and OPD services in all the government health institutions and hospitals. It warned the MHS that non-compliance of the order will be treated as offence under Manipur Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1984 and action will be taken accordingly against defaulting employees. The order further directed CMOs and medical superintendents to submit a daily report to the director of health services and additional director at 5 pm every day.

It can be noted here that a general body meeting of AMHSDA convened on December 18 last (after deliberating the long pending demands of the doctors servicing in government healthcare sectors) resolved to launch a series of agitations, commencing from December 21. Among others, the doctors have been pressing the state government Non Practicing Allowance (NPA) to be given as per the Central government pay norms and disallowing private practices by any of the officers of the Manipur Health Services (MHS).  “NPA should not be optional”, they demanded.

The association is also demanding government’s approval to the draft Manipur Health Services Rules submitted by the AMHSDA in February 2020 and adoption of the same. The draft rule included time scale promotion, creation of various posts, opening of post of director to all MHS officers and repatriation of the MHS officer deputed at JNIMS for more than three years.

The association further demanded immediate cancellation of the extension of Dr K Rajo Singh as director of Health services for six months after superannuation of his service.
The director was due to retire from his service on November 30 last. However, the state government extended his service for another six month.

Alleging that the extension of the service of the director was in violation of various orders of the government and court, the AMHSDA has been demanding revocation of the order.


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