Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) President Altaf Bukhari on Tuesday urged the Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha to address genuine demands of employees working on contract basis under National Health Mission (NHM), Revised National Tuberculosis Programme (RNTCP) and Aids Control Society (ACS).
In a statement, Bukhari said thousands of employees working under these centrally sponsored schemes including doctors, paramedics and managerial staff working for the last over one-and-a-half decade on contract basis were facing worst kind of exploitation as compared to their regular counterparts.
Bukhari said since the government was already intending to recruit medics in view of shortage of doctors across J&K it would be highly advisable to regularize the contractual doctors working under NHM scheme.
“Such a step would not only address the long pending demand of the contractual professionals working on meager salaries but will also reduce the time required for a fresh recruitment process under the prevailing pandemic situation.,” he said.
Bukhari said it was against all labour covenants that these frontline warriors in battle against COVID pandemic were being paid peanuts as compared to the permanent employees of the health department.
He said it was highly unfortunate that the families of 32 employees working under NHM who have died in harness have not received any exgratia relief from the government even after being assured by the department. “The government must devise a social security scheme for these employees who are working efficiently like their regular counterparts in the department,” he said.
Bukhari said these health department officials were working as frontline workers in COVID-related activities including testing, contact tracing, surveillance and other hospital duties in almost all government run healthcare institutions in J&K.
“But they are regrettably facing a significant pay disparity and are not covered under any social security scheme which is totally an injustice with them,” he said.