Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Tamenglong on Monday shut down the district hospital at Duigailong in protest against acute shortage of doctors in the hospital, while demanding the authorities concerned to provide the same within two days.
District Hospital Tamenglong at Duigailong, the only hospital in the entire Tamenglong district of Manipur, has long been facing the problem of acute shortage of doctors and other manpower, causing immense hardship not only for patients seeking immediate medical attention and treatment but also the present limited health staff having to attend to all the patients in the hospital.
As per sources, seven doctors who were posted in Tamenglong district have allegedly refused to join duty since November 2022 despite the acute shortage of manpower in the hospital. Considering the dire situation of the district, the CSO launched the agitation, which was led by social worker Akinsin Gangmei.
The agitating CSOs included the Tamenglong Village Student Federation (TVSF), Joint Tribe Councils Women Wing, Chramram Student Voice (CSV), Auto Rickshaw and Motor Association Tamenglong (ARMAT), Youth Clubs of Chengdai Village, Chiuluan, Duigailong, Khangchiuluan, Liangmai Naga Chamna Katimai (LNCK) Tamenglong zone and Like Minded among others.
The CSOs demanded that all the seven doctors who are yet to join or not coming for duty from November 2022 must report to the Chief Medical Office, Tamenglong within two days. They also demanded to fill all the vacant posts with immediate effect and improve the quality of health services in the district hospital Duigailong, Tamenglong.
Tamenglong SDO Imosana Meitei and Tamenglong chief medical officer Dr G Majachunglu requested the agitators to open the hospital on humanitarian grounds by considering that a few patients in critical condition need medical attention.
The agitators, however, refused the CMO's request and later signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), stating that the district administration will write to the director, state department of Health to take immediate necessary action as per the demand of the Joint Action Committee (JAC).
Meanwhile, JAC members told the media that the JAC will intensify the protest if the demands were not addressed within two days, he added.
Currently, Tamenglong district hospital Duigailong has no surgeon, orthopedician, eye specialist, dermatologist, psychiatrist, pathologist, matron, female health assistant, lab technician, pharmacy (Ayush) radiographer/ X-ray technician, stewards, medical records officer, MRT, audiologist, OT technician, LDC, cleaner, chowkidar, peon, etc. Moreover, 13 posts of staff nurses are lying vacant.
The hospital has no full fledged medical superintendent, no district malaria officer and district AIDs officer as well. Sources also informed that many posts were lying vacant as well in the Family Welfare department.
Tamenglong district hospital also has no ward attendant against 17 sanctioned strength. The hospital has been running without any surgeon, while patients requiring any surgery are referred to the state capital, which requires huge amount of money.
Infrastructures for district immunization officer Tamenglong and staff are also urgently needed to provide quality service for the people in the district.
The agitators held placards which read, ‘Shortage of doctor is real life taker’, ‘Save lives, send doctors’, ‘It's not tribals’ voice, it's human voice, listen’, ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’, etc.