The All Manipur Health Services Doctors’ Association (AMHSDA) is all set to resume its strike, saying that the state government has failed to meet their demands even after a series of agitation was held.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday at the Manipur Press Club, general secretary of AMHSDA, Lolee P Mao, said that the state government only considers their service as essential but doesn't bother for their well-being.
Lolee P Mao said that AMHSDA is one of the biggest organised Gazette bodies in Manipur with a membership of around 1300-1400. But unfortunately, the state government failed to listen to their “legitimate demands” that were put forward since the last two years.
He said the main four demands are time bound promotion, extension of superannuation age of specialist and non-specialist doctors to 65 years as administrative post as per the declaration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, inclusion of NPA in the basic pay with effect from January 1 of 2016 as per 7th central pay commission and major amendments of outdated MHS Rules 1982. It was followed in Manipur by the first Manipur BJP on August 30, 2017 but the same government cut down to 62 years on January 17, 2020, he added.
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Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended out of necessities, the Manipur government cut it down to punish someone, victimising all the doctors thereby contradicting the Prime Minister's vision and interest of extension for a purpose, he alleged.
They had relaunched the agitation on November 1, 2022 by wearing black badges, organising peaceful sit-in protest, mass casual leave, relay hunger strike. Then, on November 14, 2022, the additional chief secretary had requested them to reduce their demand to four which they did. The OPD closure agitation was suspended in view of Sangai festival that was conducted in the month of November.
The concerned minister had assured to discuss their demand in the cabinet meeting but it was not discussed in the recently conducted cabinet, Mao said. The state government is playing the delaying tactic despite the fact that doctors are regarded as essential services, he added.
“In the January 3 cabinet meeting, many were promoted, regularised and even retired people promoted to IPS. This shows the government is interested only in the privileged groups and not interested at all in the non-privilege doctors,” he added.