Health services in government hospitals of Nagaland were affected on Monday as doctors started a three-day agitation demanding that their retirement age be increased by two years.
Members of the Nagaland in-Service Doctors’ Association (NIDA) have taken mass casual leaves to press their demand for increase in the superannuation age of government medical practitioners from 60 to 62 years.
The agitation has affected services in the Out Patients’ Department (OPD) in government hospitals and health centres across the state, but the emergency department and ICUs were open, NIDA said in a statement.
Senior doctors will be available round the clock to attend to any emergency during the period of agitation, it said adding that Covid-19 vaccination and tests were not affected.
The demand is in line with the promise Prime Minister Narendra Modi made in 2016, the NIDA said.
The organisation said it is forced to take this step as the state government has failed to solve the issue in a year.
Doctors in Dimapur district hospital said they attended to emergency cases but not OPD patients.
The state government had earlier cautioned the agitating doctors that action would be taken against them.
On the first day of the agitation, administrations of Kohima and Dimapur districts sought help of private practitioners for the treatment of patients, official sources said.
The Nagaland government has said the PM’s statement was made in a political rally and no directive has been given to states.
Several organisations are opposed to the demand of NIDA saying increasing the retirement age of doctors would create stagnancy in employment opportunities.