The Opposition Naga People’s Front on Monday demanded that the Nagaland government put its decision to regularise the contractual and contingency medical staff on hold.
The state cabinet on June 13 decided to regularise the services 27 general duty medical officers who were appointed on May 27 for 12 months on contractual basis on the ground of constraint of man power to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the cabinet decision, the National Health Mission Employees Association Nagaland, comprising 1800 members, resorted to cease work strike from Sunday, alleging injustice towards the National Health Mission employees by the state government.
Expressing serious concern over the imbroglio in the state health and family welfare department, the NPF, in a release, said the very decision of commissioning public servants without following the laid down procedures is a “blatant” and “atrocious disregard” to the law governing the land and can only be termed as an act of nepotism.
The NPF urged the PDA government to expeditiously address the grievances of the NHM employees and break the deadlock so that various health centres across the state start functioning normally again.
The party said the present pandemic situation has demanded an urgent need for trained medical personnel and the need for contractual and contingency doctors.
“The logical progression to this scenario would have been the extension of their contracts till such time the government needed their services,” the NPF said.
It added that another unpleasant fallout of this arbitrary cabinet decision would be the burden on the state exchequer.
The Opposition party said the rules of recruitment into the public service as a regular employee cannot be so patently ignored just taking advantage of the existing pandemic.
“This authoritarian attitude of the People’s Democratic Alliance government would moreover set a very dangerous precedent for the post-pandemic governments and the future Naga generations,” it said.
It would also force the appointed medical officers into a very uncomfortable position if a first class gazetted post is given to the contractual doctors without following proper appointment procedure, the party said.
It stressed that proper laid down recruitment procedure should be followed to accommodate them if at all their service is indispensable.
The NPF also called for recruitment of trained medical personnel as regularised appointees, where necessitated, through the Nagaland Public Service Commission and only after undergoing the prescribed probationary period.
This would ensure that all qualified candidates have an equal opportunity for employment under the state government and no one is discriminated against, it said.