Srinagar, Jan 29: The National Health Mission (NHM) employee’s strike, which entered 16th day on Tuesday has affected healthcare in rural areas of the state.
To resolve the long pending issues including the implementation of Supreme Court (SC) guidelines of equal pay for equal wages, the employees went on strike on January 13, which has now lasted for more than two weeks now.
While the protesting employees denied calling off strike till government addresses their issues, the patients care in the valley rural area has taken a back seat.
Sources said the absence of NHM doctors in health institutes is putting a huge work pressure on the existing regular doctors at health centers.
“There is already heavy inflow of patients during the winter. Add to it, the strike by NHM doctors is further complicating the situation. A huge proportion of doctors are already on leave. So the government should consider their demand so that patients don’t face problems anymore in their respective health centers,” they said.
The protesting employees held the government responsible for ailing health care, saying their already signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to regularize their services in a phased manner has not been implemented yet.“We have been seeking the redressal of our demands for a long time. The assurances have proved futile. We appeal Governor to address our issues at an earliest,” said vice president, NHM association, Altaf Ahmad.
“We can give some more time to the government for the formulation of regularization policy, provided it implements the SC guidelines of equal pay for equal wages in our favour without any delay,” he said.
The protesting employees said that depriving them of the benefits of 7th pay commission was
“unacceptable” for them.“No social security benefits are being provided to us. For the last three consecutive years J&K has secured top ranking in the primary health care sector. The morality rate has come down,” they added.
The protesting employees also held a candle light protest at Press Enclave wherein they chanted slogans.