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Health workers a happy lot, new-found enthusiasm after pay hike

Health workers a happy lot, new-found enthusiasm after pay hike
Highlights

The health workers in Vikarabad district are upbeat after the Telangana Governments decision to increase salaries Radha, treasurer of second ANM...

Vikarabad: The health workers in Vikarabad district are upbeat after the Telangana Government’s decision to increase salaries. Radha, treasurer of second ANM Union, Tandur said, “We have been demanding salary hike since 2016. CM promised us the hike in the past and he has kept his promise. We are happy that our concerns were addressed.” Similarly, another worker Rajeshwari said, “I have been working as Asha worker in Mekavanampally centre, which falls under Mominpeta PHC, since last ten years with very poor wages. We never expected that wages would be increased. We are very happy with this decision.

In the past, people feared going to government hospitals. However, as the government began improving facilities and appointing the required staff, the situation has brightened up, instilling a lot of confidence among people towards government hospitals. As a result, more and more people now resort to government hospitals say locals. At the ground level, people say that the KCR Kit too has touched a chord with the women. Some initiatives such as filling up vacant posts too have played a part in people regaining faith in the hospitals. Steps were also taken to ensure that doctors are available 24 hours a day at hospitals. Apart from providing proper health services to people, Asha workers have also played a key role in increasing awareness about government welfare schemes among people.

The state government has decided to increase the wages of Asha workers and second ANMs in the Cabinet meeting which was presided by CM KCR held on Sunday. Asha workers will now get increased wages of Rs. 7,500 from Rs. 6,000; Second ANMs who work in Health department will now get increased wages of Rs 21,000 from Rs. 11,000. Wages of Gopalamitra too were increased from Rs 3,500 to Rs. 8,500. The retirement age of priests is increased from 58 to 65. “I have been working in Patlur PHC since 2009.

With the monthly salary of Rs. 4000, it was difficult to meet our expenses. We are thankful to CM KCR who has understood our concerns and increased our salaries,” said Kateeja Begum. “Since 2006, I have been working as Asha worker under Patloor PHC. The government’s decision to increase wages will end our financial problems. So far, no government has cared for us. This decision is a step in the right direction,” said another worker Sumalatha In the 18 mandals of the district, there are 22 PHCs and 156 subcenters.

Apart from these centers, there are four community health centers and one district hospital. These centers provide healthcare services to around 9 lakh people. It is expected that the wage hike would enthuse the health workers and result in better rural health services. In 565 panchayats of Vikarabad, Parigi and Tandur constituencies, 253 ANMs are performing their duties; nearly half of them are working as second ANMs. ANMs play a key role in providing various health services, such as giving vaccinations to newly born; providing health care instructions to mothers and pregnant mothers related to nutrition; and conducting awareness campaigns in villages.

They also play an important role in polio drops campaigns, which are held twice a year. Each ANM is taking care of two to three villages, which is an additional burden imposed on them. Most of the health centers do not have their own buildings. Despite the lack of facilities, the ANMs are working from anganwadi and school buildings to provide healthcare services to rural people. There is a wide discrepancy in wages between first and second ANMs. While first ANMs get a salary of Rs. 25,000 per month, second ANMs get only Rs 11,689 as salary. Since last few years, second ANMs have been demanding to minimize this gap. In line with this demand, the cabinet has increased their salary by Rs. 10,000, bringing cheer to families of ANMs.

Asha workers get 25% hike

The state government has decided to give 25 percent hike in salaries of Asha workers. In the district, there are 740 Asha workers, and all these health workers will get benefitted by the decision. These health workers play a crucial role in mother and child care: from taking pregnant women to health centers every month and take various tests such as blood, sugar, BP and weight to get necessary medical instructions and advisories from doctors and facilitating transfer of pregnant to hospitals for delivery. The beneficiaries of government schemes such as KCR kit and other financial benefits, are being identified based on the records enumerated by Asha workers. They also assist ANMs in giving vaccinations to rural children.

Salaries of contract doctors hiked

The state government has also decided to increase the salaries of contract doctors working in PHCs, community health centers and district hospitals. Four contract doctors, two in Vikarabad and two in Marpalli, will get benefitted by the decision. Currently, 20 doctors are working in Tandur district hospital, seven in Vikarabad district hospital and six in Marpalli district hospital. Second ANMs have been demanding salary hike since many years. Despite working equal to first ANMs, our salaries remained low and there was a lot of dissatisfaction. We are very happy with 40% hike. Salary hike to Asha workers too will benefit rural healthcare.

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