National Health Mission Employees Union of Mizoram (NEUM) on Monday called off an indefinite strike, a day after the state government banned staging of strikes by health employees amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contractual employees of the National Health Mission under the aegis of NEUM have stayed off their work since December 17 demanding regularisation of their employment under the state government.
The contractual employees also demanded regular pay, medical reimbursement and travelling allowance for transfer.
A statement issued by NEUM said the ongoing indefinite strike has been called off at 7 am on Monday following an assurance from health minister Dr. R. Lalthangliana that the government would take measures for regularisation of the NHM staff.
Besides regular pay, medical reimbursement and transfer travelling allowance, the health minister also assured that he would take measures for the welfare of the NHM staff and to ensure that more and more staff are recruited in the upcoming recruitment under the state health department, it said.
Health secretary R. Lalramnghaka also assured that he would make efforts to fulfill the demands and aspirations of the NEUM, the statement said.
The union further apologized to people, especially patients, who faced problems and inconvenience due to the strike.
The indefinite strike has greatly affected the healthcare system amid manpower crunch, sources said.
The Mizoram government had on Sunday prohibited staging of strikes or agitation by employees under the state health department during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The order issued by the health department said that no employees under the health and family welfare department should organise strikes during the pandemic as defined in the Mizoram Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1990.
The order said that COVID-19 is still prevalent in the state.
In the wake of Omicron variant of COVID-19, there is urgent need to keep a close vigil on the incidence of local and regional spread of the pandemic.
Any strike if organise by any section or category of employees under the health department would adversely affect health care service delivery, not only for the COVID-19 related cases but also for any other illness a person could already have or might contract, which could render him or her more susceptible to COVID-19, the order said.
The prohibitory order was valid for six months with effect from 7 pm on Sunday.