Health sector in crisis
Manipur is staring at a health crisis with government doctors and nurses deciding to shut down all emergency healthcare services in government hospitals across the state from tomorrow in support of their demand for better service conditions.
“We have decided to stop all emergency services in all government hospitals from tomorrow for an indefinite period to protest against the Okram Ibobi Singh government’s indifference to the demands of the employees in the family welfare and health services departments,” Dr Okram Mahendra Singh, general secretary of the Manipur Health Service Officers’ Association, said.
The decision to stop emergency services, including surgery, was taken by the Joint Committee of Medical Department Employees’ Association, Family Welfare Department Employees’ Association and Manipur Health Service Officers’ Association.
The ceasework will affect one major government hospital, namely Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital in Imphal, seven district hospitals, 16 community health centres, 72 primary health centres, 420 primary health sub-centres and 16 dispensaries.
Singh said the joint committee resolved to step up the agitation after keeping all out-patient departments (OPDs) in the government hospitals shut for two consecutive days since yesterday as an ultimatum to the government.
The doctors said in-house patients now admitted to different wards of the government hospitals have been advised to leave. Those who still need treatment would be referred to the RIMS, the only remaining major hospital in the state.
Reports said the doctors were also ready to refer patients who wanted to be admitted to private hospitals for further treatment.
The medical employees joined the agitation as part of the strike launched by the Joint Action Committee, a federating body of employees’ organisations of different government departments.
The problem of patients worsened today after drug stores downed shutters from dawn to dusk to protest against the assault on a drugstore owner by India Reserve Battalion personnel near the gate of RIMS on Saturday.