Dimapur: The Nagaland government has directed the medical department not to grant any leave to any government medical officer or health care professional in view of the Nagaland In-Service Doctors Association (NIDA) deciding to go for mass casual leave for three days from April 18.

The members of the NIDA decided to go on mass casual leave on the issue of superannuation age following the expiry of the one-year deadline given by the state government to address their demand.

The in-service doctors have been demanding that the retirement age of all doctors irrespective of clinical or administrative roles be increased to 62 years from 60 years.  

Responding to the NIDA threat, chief secretary J Alam, in an order, asked the principal director of the department, chief medical officers and medical surgeons against sanctioning any leave to any government medical officer or health care professional.

The government also reiterated its April 14 order, barring all government doctors from any communication with the press in matters not connected with the discharge of official duty.

The government warned that failure to comply with the April 14 instruction will make officers liable for disciplinary action, in addition to deduction of pay for the unauthorized absence on the principle of ‘No Work, No Pay’.

To manage and mitigate any likely impact posed by the threat of mass casual leave by a large number of government medical doctors, the chief secretary activated measures at various levels of the directorate of health and family welfare.

The government decided to set up a state-level control room with a dedicated helpline for coordination and real-time monitoring of the situation in the state.

It said a district-level control room will be set up under the chairmanship of an officer, not below the rank of ADC/SDO(C) and consist of medical officers and officers from other departments for coordination and real-time monitoring of the situation in the district.

This control room will maintain constant touch with the state-level control room and provide regular status updates for effective monitoring.

Alam directed the deputy commissioners to hold meetings with available private hospitals and health care providers to work on modalities for the management of OPD 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