Manipur doctors on strike have called on the state government to remove the arrest warrant against them for negotiation in good faith.
Speaking to the media on Friday at a village located under Chandel district, general secretary of All Manipur Health Service Doctors Association (AMHSDA), Dr Lolee P Mao, said that doctors affiliated to the association went on an indefinite cease work strike across the state for 18 days. The strike may retreat if the state government removes the arrest warrant against them and gives room for negotiation, he added.
Due to the warrant, the police are searching for them to arrest and so, they are unable to come out openly to talk, Dr Mao said. Moreover, the members of the association are not able to meet to discuss the matter. They do not want to hide and remain silent without solving people’s problems, he said.
Since the strike started on February 14, no one is happy and not only the state government, said Dr Mao, adding that more problems are being faced by patients who are sick especially in the hill districts.
The doctors have put forward a list of eight demands, which include time-scale promotions. The state government has said that promotions would be given against vacancies. “This means, most of the doctors will retire without getting any promotion”, Dr Lolee P Mao said.
The doctors have also demanded other allowances, including risk allowances. They have also called for an increase in the retirement age from 62 to 65 years, he added.
The doctors are not asking for time-bound promotion, they are demanding time-scale promotion, he added.
“During a meeting between chief minister and members of AMHSDA, the chief minister said that their arrear is a large amount if it adds NPSC with FA from January, 2016”, Dr Mao informed and added that in that during that time, doctors were asked to keep the arrear in notional but provide service allowance, pension allowance and future retirement benefit.
During the assembly, the government said that promotion from junior to senior will become a promotion jam, Dr Mao said and questioned how it will become a jam and an administration crisis, adding that it is not related at all.
The health minister himself, through the media, stated that the demands are legit and rightful, Dr Mao said and further questioned why the minister diverted his statement.
“We are not fighting with the government but injustice and step-motherly treatment among doctors is injustice”, said Dr Mao adding that if it is personal then arrest him.
The strike is suffered by patients who are staying in the hill districts not in the valley, in the valley there are RIMS, JNIMS and other private hospitals.
He also said that some individuals from the directorate gave wrong information to the government, playing dirty tricks. Stop giving wrong information, he said.
“We know essential service and humanity, we also feel what the sick patients are feeling, we don’t feel good but the state government should not think for their basic essential needs only, the state should know doctor’s rights also”, he added.