NHM Workers’ Strike Deals Severe Jolt To Dwindling Dimapur Workforce - Eastern Mirror
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NHM workers’ strike deals severe jolt to dwindling Dimapur workforce

By Our Reporter Updated: Jun 16, 2020 12:10 am

Our Reporter
Dimapur, June 15 (EMN):
Two days after the National Health Mission (NHM) Employees’ Association of Nagaland (Nean) called for a total cease of work, the remaining healthcare workers in Dimapur are bearing the brunt without the help of the NHM workers.

Even before the NHM employees went to strike, Dimapur has been feeling the pinch of shortage of healthcare workers.

Speaking to Eastern Mirror, a doctor on duty at the Agri Expo site in Dimapur, where returnees for Dimapur, Mon and Peren are screened, shared that the strike called by NHM employees has really affected the system in just two days.

“From data reporting to screening and taking care at quarantine centres, we are having a tough time due to the strike,” said the doctor.

The doctor informed that the daily data collected has to be sent to the directorate.

“If nobody is there to collect the data and report it to the higher ups, the directorate will not receive it,” said the doctor, adding that the load was lighter on Sunday (June 14) as no train arrived in Dimapur.

But with the scheduled arrival of the special train from Delhi on Tuesday, ‘it would be a big burden’, the doctor warned.

Further, the doctor shared that the NHM employees should be given equal treatment as some have been working since the inception of NHM while others have been at the forefront of Covid-19 battle.

Another doctor in charge of a quarantine centre in Dimapur said that there is shortage of staff at many quarantine facilities right now, as most doctors and nurses were NHM employees.

Apart from the data entry, which needs to be sent to the directorate, the doctor informed that the NHM doctors and nurses are needed to attend to the quarantine centres and ‘give information for paper work’.

“There are very less sisters and nurses now to attend to the returnees at quarantine centres; the load is very heavy after they have ceased their work,” said the doctor.

Revoke regularisation — NJDA

The Nagaland Junior Doctors’ Association (NJDA) has asked the state government to revoke the “unethical” regularisation of 27 MO posts and re-advertise it for open and fair recruitment.

In a press release issued on Monday, the association also placed the following demands: withhold the 36 MO posts advertised on contingency basis; immediately create at least 100 GDMO posts within the current financial; and ensure that all foreign medical graduates (FMGs) clear their MCI exam in order to practice in the state.

Further, the NJDA censured what it stated was insensitive response and total lack of compassion from the principal director of Health and Family Welfare.

‘When the principal director is supposed to look after the welfare of the junior doctors, such ignorant and step-motherly treatment towards its own fraternity has demoralised the members completely,’ it stated.

The association was referring to the principal director’s reported statement that “there is no question of fair or unfair” process in the regularisation of 27 newly-recruited medical officers.

“If at all it has to be regularised, it should have been the NHM doctors, who have been shouldering the responsibility from day-1 of Covid-19 pandemic, not forgetting their years of services rendered till today,” it stated.

‘NHM workers free to apply for new posts’

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has clarified that the newly created posts for doctors and nurses is “open for any recruitment to come in, including those who are serving under National Health Mission”.

‘They (NHM workers) have not given any representation to the government. The issue was not brought to the Cabinet and went straight ahead with ceasing of work, which is unfortunate,’ Rio said.

He went on to add that this is a time for everybody to serve the community. He said that their grievances could be brought through the Health and Welfare department and “we will consider what is possible”.

He pointed out that the NHM was started by the Union Ministry with its own guidelines. ‘And when they say that they should be paid at par with the state employees, these are two different services,’ he said. They are working under a mission funded by the government of India, he added

“But they are free, if they want other jobs they can apply. Discussion is going on and I am hopeful that it will be solved,” Rio said.

The chief minister assured that the Health department is discussing ‘how to facilitate the issue’.

Owing to the acute shortage of doctors and nurses, the government had decided to recruit 53 fresh doctors and 143 nurses to help manage the pandemic. The salary expenditure on account of these new posts is estimated at INR 11.07 crore annually, Rio said.

Meanwhile, the NSF has appealed to the NHM workers to call off their stir.

By Our Reporter Updated: Jun 16, 2020 12:10:39 am
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