Over 60 privately run ‘unauthorised’ optical clinics in Imphal areas were forced to close down by Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM) on Wednesday. DESAM further caught a government doctor red-handed while attending patients in one of the optical clinics functioning without registration to the competent authority.
Authorities of the state Health department assured legal action against the ‘unauthorised’ optical clinic when DESAM activists raised the matter.
As per Manipur Nursing Home and Clinics Registration Act, 1992, opening of a private optical clinic needs registration to the state Health department. Illegal actions can be initiated if any of the clinics is found opening without registering to the state Health department.
Activists of DESAM on Wednesday conducted surprise visits to private optical clinics functioning in Imphal areas if they are opening after registration to the competent authority. However, most of the clinics were found not opening with registration to the state Health department, DESAM vice president O Shital told reporters. He also said that they were compelled to conduct the drive after their request to the authority of the state Health department to check the mushrooming of optical clinics in the Imphal area.
“During the drive, we found over 60 optical clinics opening unauthorised,” he said, and added that DESAM activists have locked the clinics with padlocks. “If any of the clinics locked today was found opening again without registration to the concerned authority, DESAM will be compelled to close down the clinic forever”, he warned.
He then alleged that during the drive they found evidence of many government doctors practicing in these unauthorised clinics and one of them was caught red-handed during the drive.
With the details of the optical clinics opening without registration, the DESAM activists visited the office of the state Health department to lodge a complaint against those erring clinics.
However, to an utter surprise most of the staff including the deputy director who deals with the registration of private clinics were not found in the office even after noon. On their insistence, some staff who were found in the office contacted the deputy director who immediately reached the office and held talks with the student activists. During the talks, deputy director S Ingocha assured initiating legal action against the unauthorised clinics.