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Nagaland government doctors plan three-day mass casual leave

We want the retirement age raised only to 62, not 65 years as announced by the PM: NIDA president
Representational image.
Representational image.

Umanand Jaiswal   |   Guwahati   |   Published 15.04.22, 01:28 AM

Nagaland is staring at “severe disruption” in health services with government doctors firm on going ahead with their three-day mass casual leave from April 18 in support of their demand to increase the retirement age from 60 to 62 years.

The state government, however, decided not to grant any casual leave to the doctors for those three days.


The Nagaland In-Service Doctors Association (NIDA), which has given the call for the mass leave, has been invoking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on May 26, 2016, to raise the retirement age of doctors to 65 to cope with the acute shortage of doctors in the country.

The Nagaland government is headed by the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), an ally of the BJP.

NIDA president Dr. E. Phyantsuthung told The Telegraph that they are demanding what has been announced by the prime minister.

“But we want the retirement age raised only to 62, not 65 years as announced by the prime minister. There is a shortfall of 188 doctors out of the existing sanctioned strength of 511 in the state. Moreover, only 17 doctors will retire in two years if our demand is met,” the NIDA president said.

Incumbent state chief secretary Jan-e-Alam had on April 17, 2021 given a “written assurance” that the retirement issue would be resolved within a year, Dr. Phyantsuthung, an eye specialist, said.

He said: “We will be requiring at least 248 doctors for the two medical colleges coming up in the state and 110 doctors for the five newly created districts. This is the best time to raise the retirement age without any apprehension of unemployment and stagnation. We will go ahead with our mass casual leave programme if the state government does not offer anything concrete by April 16.”

However the chief secretary, according to a government statement issued on Thursday, issued a direction to the principal director of health and family welfare department “not” to approve casual leave of any officer from April 18 to 20, “and if already granted, the approval shall be recalled/revoked”.

The government apprehends the “proposed mass casual leave” is likely to cause “severe disruption in medical care/ public health services and is, therefore, liable to endanger the lives, health and security of the people of the State”.

The principal director has also been asked to issue directions to all CMOs/MSs/controlling officers in the district/sub-district/hospital level not to approve casual leave of any officer during the said period.

“Any resort to illegal means of agitation shall be viewed seriously and besides deduction of salary on the principle of ‘No work, no pay,’ participants shall also be liable to disciplinary action for grave violation of conduct rules. In addition, the participants in the strike/agitation would also be liable for appropriate action under provisions of the law,” the government statement said.

Deputy commissioners have also been directed to ensure chief medical officers and the medical superintendents and their subordinate officers follow the directions, and in case of any violation, submit reports on the matter to the government through commissioner for further action.

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