Srinagar: The protesting NHM workers, who are now on indefinite strike from almost a month, Thursday held massive protests at press enclave Srinagar, demanding regularization of their services.
The NHM employees during the protest today extended their protest cum strike till Jan 24, saying will continue to protest till demands won’t meet.
The demands that have so far failed to move the government, with government saying that it stands for the phase-wise regularization process, which has failed to convince the workers.
Coming on roads Thursday, NHM workers were seen chanting slogans, demanding regularization of their services, with hundreds of workers assembling at Press Enclave.
Earlier the government had said that the demands of NHM workers are being considered and the committee that was formed to look into the matter had recommended phase-wise regularization, which is the demand of the protesting health workers.
The Minister for Health and Medical Education Bali Bhagat, while informing the House earlier had said that the government has met several other demands of the NHM employees. He said that earlier 3 months maternity leave was granted in favour of the female employees without salary, but now they avail the leave along with the perks. He said they are also entitled to EPF, Accidental insurance and other incentives. He also said that the government is considering the recommendations of the committee.
However, the assurances from the government seem not be satisfying the striking health workers so far.
While talking to Kashmir Vision, Spokesperson, NHM employees Union, Abdul Rauf said that they want a formal government order if they are considering the phase wise regularization of NHM workers, “let them come up with a government order and provide us with a time frame in this regard and only then we will call off our strike,” he said.
On Wednesday, MLA Kulgam M Y Tarigami urged the government to formulate a policy to regularise the National Health Mission (NHM) employees.
Tarigami said there was a “dire need” to chalk out a regularisation mechanism for the employees, including doctors, paramedical and management staff working under the NHM. “NHM should be made a permanent health programme of the government with universal application and adequate financial allocation,” he said.
“The government must initiate a serious dialogue with NHM representatives to settle their issues instead of using force and adopting dally-delaying tactics,” the CPI (M) leader said.
As per figures there are total number of 10000 NHM employees in the entire State working as specialists which includes gynaecologists and paediatricians, paramedics and lab technicians, out of which 4500 belong to Jammu region.
As already reported by this newspaper, the state healthcare, especially the peripheral healthcare is in shambles, especially when it comes to the strength of man power—the specialist doctors, and right now govt does not seem to be buying the argument of roping in specialists from NHM.
Notably, the undefined strike of NHM workers has affected the working of health care system, particularly in rural areas, where the regular staff is compelled to work for extra stretches, taking a toll on the efficiency of the system, which was already limping, particularly in the peripheries.