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Vijayawada: CHOs urged to stop stir, join duties
- Medical and health principal secretary Krishna Babu says AP is paying more to community health officers compared to other states in southern Inda
- Makes it clear that it is not possible to regularise services as demanded by them
- Warns of terminating services of striking CHOs as per their contract terms and conditions if they don’t withdraw their agitation and join duties
Vijayawada: Medical and health principal secretary MT Krishna Babu on Tuesday urged the community health officers (CHOs) to stop the agitation and resume duties immediately, stating that Andhra Pradesh is paying more to the CHOs compared to other southern states. He made it clear it is not possible to regularise their services since they are appointed on the contract basis for one year.
In a press release, Krishna Babu said the CHOs have served a notice asking the government to concede their demands on pay hike, regularisation of services, increase in annual leaves, among other demands.
Krishna Babu said the Andhra Pradesh government started appointing community health officers (CHOs) since 2019 and appointed 697 CHOs in 2019, 4,519 CHOs in 2020-21 and 4,816 CHOs in 2022-23. The state government is paying a salary of Rs 25,000 and incentive of Rs 15,000 (total of Rs 40,000) per month for their services. He said the CHOs are asking the government to increase the salary to Rs 35,000 and sanction incentive of Rs 5,000.
He rejected their demand for regularisation of services stating that they were appointed on contract basis. As per the terms and conditions, the District Health Society is empowered to terminate the CHOs from services or stop the payment of salaries if the CHOs fail to perform duties properly or neglect the duty, he pointed out.
Krishna Babu said a committee formed to assess their performance will decide the payment of incentives. “A notice with some demands was given to the government by Andhra Pradesh CHOs Association recently. The CHOs are demanding the government to sanction 35 days leaves in a year and the government recently issued orders to sanction 15 days leaves every year,” he explained.
Medical and health principal secretary said the CHOs have announced phase-wise agitation starting from November 20 and 21 and announced a protest at Dharna Chowk on December 13 if their demands are not met. Comparing the wages of CHOs in Andhra Pradesh with those in neighbouring states, he said Andhra Pradesh government is paying a salary of Rs 40,000 a month while Karnataka is paying Rs 30,000, Telangana Rs 29,900, Tamil Nadu Rs 19,000 and Kerala Rs 17,000.
He appealed to the CHOs to know the facts and call off their agitation and join the duties. He made it clear the government will not hesitate to scrap the contract of the CHOs and terminate them from their services if they don’t join the duty as asked by the government.
He said the government issued a circular on November 27 in this regard.
Krishna Babu will address the CHOs in a webinar on November 29 at 11 am to explain the government’s policy and request them to rejoin the duty.
He made it clear the government will take stern action if the CHOs don’t join the duties after the webinar on November 29. He said as per the Central government orders, one CHO should be appointed for a population of 5,000 but the AP government appointed one CHO for a population of 2,500-3,000 and paying salaries and incentives up to Rs 40,000 a month.