While urging the government to immediately fulfil its promises made with National Health Mission (NHM) employees from time-to-time, CPI (M) leader and MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami Friday said the strike of the NHM staff has hit the health services in the state badly.
In a statement, he said strike has affected the health services to a large extent with patients facing a lot of inconvenience in rural as well as urban areas. Government must fulfill its promises made with the NHM employees and immediately formulate a policy to regularize them. There is a dire need to chalk out a regularization mechanism for employees, including doctors, paramedical and management staff working under NHM.
The NHM employees are paid only one third of emoluments in comparison to their counterparts in the state which needs to be enhanced substantially keeping in view the nature of their duties and price escalations. These employees are working on meager salaries for last more than a decade and they don't have any job security. The Government's callous attitude towards the NHM staff is unfortunate as they are the backbone of the health services in the state and work with utmost dedication.
Earlier, this year after a similar protest by the NHM employees, the government had formed a four-member committee asking it to draft a proposal regarding their regularization before May 2017. However, unfortunately, the promise was never kept, forcing the NHM employees to again come on streets.
Meanwhile, the CPI (M) leader also urged the State Government to take immediate steps to regularize ASHA workers as government health workers, as it is they who are contributing a lot to make the NHM a success scheme. The Government must provide a dignified monthly honorarium to ASHA workers and paying poor compensation for extreme hard work should come to an end to protect the women folk working in different sectors.
The Government must consider the genuine demands of ASHAs which includes minimum wages of Rs 15,000 per month, all social security benefits like pension and gratuity, the NHM should be made a permanent health programme of the government, with universal application and adequate financial allocation and supply of special kits, etc.