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Assam doctors launch 3-day OPD boycott over security, other demands; services hit


Guwahati, Nov 2: Services in the Out Patient Department (OPD) across government hospitals in Assam were affected following a three-day boycott call given by an organisation of doctors from Monday demanding fulfilment of various issues including promotion and security of physicians and other medical staff.

The state health department has contacted the Assam Medical Service Association (AMSA) and assured it to look into their demands. Total boycott of OPD services by our members for three days has started today. The state government has held telephonic talks with us and we shall discuss it at an executive body meeting. But, as of now, our decision to continue with the OPD boycott stands, AMSA general secretary Dr Kanak Chandra Talukdar said.

This is the last of the four-phase agitation of the AMSA, which started on October 19.

On the talks held with Health Minister Keshab Mahanta on October 19, Talukdar said besides publishing a list of 23 doctors who have been given their due promotion, none of the other assurances has been met.

There was no time-bound assurance and we have not seen anything moving in the last few days. Hence, we have been forced to proceed with our agitation, he added. Services in the Emergency ward and In Patient Department were not affected due to the agitation, he claimed.

The AMSA's demands include timely cadre review and promotion, time-scale based promotion, advancing the period for increment of diploma holder doctors, and security of doctors and other medical staff.

It had launched its four-phased agitation with a three-hour OPD boycott on October 19, which was followed by OPD boycott for the entire day on October 22, and again for three days from October 26.

Health minister Mahanta had held discussions with an AMSA delegation on October 19, and the department at the end of the meeting had said the AMSA team had expressed satisfaction at the measures taken for resolving their demands.

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