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Kolasib NGOs block road connecting Mizoram with Assam to protest doctor’s transfer

NGO members block the highway in Kolasib to protest the transfer of District Hospital surgeon on June 6, 2017. Courtesy: R. Varte

Mizoram

Kolasib NGOs block road connecting Mizoram with Assam to protest doctor’s transfer

Kolasib (zoramobserver): NGOs of Kolasib district has called an indefinite road block on National Highway-54 connecting Mizoram with Assam in protest against the transfer order of a surgeon from Kolasib district hospital.

According to leaders of the NGO Joint Action Committee constituted by all civil bodies in Kolasib district, the blockade would begin from Tuesday (6 June), 5 am for an indefinite time “till a positive response is received from the government.”

Schools closed

JAC leaders also said that all government offices and educational institutions in Kolasib town would remain closed as part of the protest. However, the strike would not affect business shops, media, medical duty, emergency duty, milkman, DIET and IGNOU students who are writing their exams, they said.

Wine shops shut

Meanwhile, the government has issued an order directing all wine shops within Kolasib district to have their shutters down to avoid untoward incident following the indefinite road block and strike called by the JAC.

Their demand

The JAC has been demanding the government to revoke the transfer order of Dr. Zothansanga Zadeng, a surgeon who is currently posted at Kolasib district hospital. “We are already having shortage of surgeon at the hospital and the government is trying to send him away,” they said.

Earlier on May 18, the government issued an order directing Dr. Zadent to shift to Serchhip district hospital.

Several attempts have been made earlier by leaders of Kolasib NGOs including Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) to meet the state health minister. “Our efforts were futile due to ‘tight schedule’ of the minister,” the student body said.

‘Only one surgeon’

The leaders also met Home Minister R. Lalzirliana and other officials but nothing could be done on the issue.
Leaders of the JAC yesterday told reporters that they were strongly opposed to the transfer order due to shortage of surgeon at Kolasib district hospital and said that Dr. Zadeng is the only surgeon presently being posted at the hospital.

The JAC leaders said that they have been facing shortage of surgeons at the district hospital since 2008 after two surgeons  – Dr T Lalrochunga (L) and Dr Machhana (Pathology) – were transferred from the hospital. In 2013, the government posted a surgeon who again left the hospital after serving for three months.The government then posted the present surgeon doctor in 2015, the leaders said.

Claims of government’s apathy

They also accused the state government of showing utter negligence towards the people of Koalsib district.

Clarifying the assumption that two surgeons are presently being post at Kolasib district hospital, the JAC leaders said one surgeon Dr. Zochampuia (Dr. Chpa) was recruited for elderly programme under NRHM and he was not assigned to remain on guard at the district hospital. They further reiterated that it is only Dr. Zadeng who is assigned a surgeon role in the district hospital.

Not against Serchhip people

The JAC leaders further said that their agitation was against the government’s order and not to hurt the sentiments of people in Serchhip, where Dr. Zadeng had been transferred. “Our only intention is to retain a doctor for Kolasib district,” they said.

Have patience: Govt

Meanwhile, leaders of Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) while speaking to journalists at a press conference in Aizawl yesterday asked the leaders of Kolasib JAC not to go ahead with indefinite road block.

The MPCC leaders said that the transfer of Dr. Zadenga was necessitated by the death of a surgeon at Serchhip district hospital.

While urging the people of Kolasib to have patience, the ruling party said that the state government has been taking efforts to find solution to shortage of doctors in the state.

“The government is recruiting 26 new doctors to meet the inadequacy and the last date of interview would be completed on June 13,” they said.

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Co-Editor, Zoramobserver.com. Mr. Khojol is a journalist based in Aizawl, Mizoram. He writes for various national and regional media houses. In his free time, he can be caught reading books and watching movies.

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