Manipur: Hospital services affected as doctors begin indefinite shutdown from February 14

Senapati, 14 Feb: The All Manipur Health Services Doctors’ Association (AMHSDA) has begun its indefinite shutdown of medical health services in districts of Manipur. AMHSDA in a press release on Monday put an ultimatum to close down all Medical Health Services in District Hospitals (MHSDH) and other health centres saying the Government has not paid heed and neglected the demands agreed to the association.

In the release, it stated that the long standing  eight charter of demands were cut down to four on the request  the Government, on November 14, 2022 that include time bound/time scale promotion, extension of superannuation age of doctors to 65 years as administrative post, NPA as per 7th Central Pay Commission w.e.f. 1/1/2016 and Major amendment of the outdated MHS Rules 1982.

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Inspite of repeated appeals and assurances and commitment made to put up in Cabinet Meeting, not a single demand was granted till date. So far 2 to 3 Cabinet Meetings were held in the past but no demands of AMHSDA was discussed. In the recently concluded Assembly session on 3rd February, 2023, 4 demands of AMHSDA were haphazardly presented and misinterpreted, misleading the public, General Secretary of AMHSDA lamented.

In 1982 census, Manipur population was about fifteen lakh. WHO guideline says 1 doctor for 1000 population. The present strength of doctors is 1300 to 1400 which still does not reach WHO standard. Since the present population of the state is over thirty lakh, Manipur is supposed to have 3000 doctors, it mentioned.

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With 600 to 700 vacancies to be filled, it stated that there won’t be any question of unemployment issue if those vacant posts would be filled up. With regards to administrative crisis as stated in the assembly, out of the approximately 100 Gr. II doctors, 16 districts CMOs, 7 Medical Superintendents, 8 Joint Directors are administrative posts. The rest are Sr. Specialists and SNOs are not administrative posts. AMHSDA is stated to demand for Time Scale promotion like other organised services which does not concern with the number of vacancies. On the 26th May, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that it is difficult to make doctors in two years but poor families cannot be forced to live without doctors that made him to wisely declared so and had raised the retirement age of doctors whether in states or government of India to 65 years. Prime Minister extended in the interest of the poor people. Manipur government too interpreted extension to 65 years was on trial basis in 2017 and cut down to 62 years in 2020 was to punish one. Regarding senior and junior issue in the work place, if it is extended as administrative post there won’t be any superior or inferior complexity. Since the Government is not taking seriously and neglected the demands agreed, indefinite shut down of all MHS DH and health centres will come into force w.e.f.14th Feb.,2023 as declared in the Press Conference, Manipur Press Club on the 11th February, 2023.

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