DIMAPUR: The three-day mass casual leave protest by the Nagaland in-service Doctors Association (NIDA) ended on Wednesday.

The protest affected the health service across the state.

The OPDs in government hospitals and health centres across the state remained closed during the three-day protest.

However, emergency services were in operation.

The in-service doctors, who have been demanding increase in their superannuation age from 60 to 62 years, launched the protest on April 18 after the expiry of the Nagaland government’s assurance to resolve their demand within one year.

Nagaland chief secretary J Alam held a meeting with the NIDA in Kohima on Tuesday but the two parties failed to resolve the issue.

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The state cabinet will hold a meeting to discuss the matter on Thursday.

Sources said the NIDA will take its next course of action after the cabinet meeting.

The NIDA had earlier said it will go for indefinite cease work after its three-day mass casual leave if the state government failed to address its demand.

The doctors went ahead with their three-day protest despite the state government’s warning of penal action against them.

On April 16, the state government asked the state health and family welfare department not to grant casual leaves to doctors.

In a statement, chief secretary J Alam said referred to Rule 25 of the Nagaland Government Servants Conduct Rules, 1968, which prohibits government servants’ participation in strike, mass casual leave or any form of abetting a strike.

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The government said maintenance of public health and sanitation, including hospitals and dispensaries, are essential services under the Nagaland Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1978.

The government also set up a state-level control room with dedicated helpline for coordination and real-time monitoring of the situation in the state in view of the doctors’ strike.

Alam directed the deputy commissioners to hold meetings with available private hospitals and health care providers to work out modalities for management of OPDs and referral cases from the government facilities as and when required among other measures.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com