Telangana govt to provide maternity leave with pay for ASHAs

Finance Minister Harish Rao

Harish Rao(File Photo)


Health Minister T Harish Rao announced today that Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) in the State will now be entitled to maternity leave with pay, bringing them in line with other women employees.

Hyderabad: Health Minister T Harish Rao announced today that Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) in the State will now be entitled to maternity leave with pay, bringing them in line with other women employees.

This decision was made during a monthly review meeting held by Minister Harish Rao on Monday, where he acknowledged the crucial role played by ASHAs and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) in delivering quality medical services to the people at the grassroots level.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao commended the services rendered by ASHAs and emphasized Telangana's commitment to providing the highest salaries to these dedicated healthcare workers in the country. In the past, ASHAs had resorted to protests and demonstrations to secure wage hikes and timely remuneration. However, since the formation of Telangana, significant improvements have been made, with wages being increased threefold. Presently, ASHAs receive a monthly salary of Rs. 9,750, while their counterparts in states governed by BJP and Congress receive only 4 to 5 thousand rupees.

Minister Harish Rao has directed Health Secretary Rizvi and Family Welfare Commissioner Shweta Mahanthi to conduct a comprehensive study on the implementation of maternity leave with pay for ASHAs and second ANMs. The findings of the study are expected to be presented in a detailed report, underlining the government's commitment to recognizing and safeguarding the well-being of these frontline healthcare workers.

Telangana Health Day, a grand celebration of the state's remarkable progress in the healthcare sector over the past nine years, is scheduled to be held on June 14. Minister Harish Rao cordially invited everyone to participate in this momentous event and contribute to its success. The occasion aims to showcase the outstanding achievements of Telangana's healthcare sector across various departments, highlighting the transformative impact on the lives of its citizens.

Highlighting the remarkable progress made in government hospitals, particularly in the domain of deliveries, Minister Harish Rao shared a significant milestone. In April, Telangana's government hospitals achieved a historic record, with 69 per cent of all deliveries taking place within their premises. This marks a substantial increase compared to the 30 per cent reported in 2014. Sangareddy, Narayanpet, Medak, and Jogulamba Gadwal districts received special commendations for their outstanding performance, boasting delivery rates ranging from 81 to 87 per cent.

Minister Harish Rao emphasized the need to further enhance government hospitals as the preferred choice for childbirth. Efforts will be concentrated in districts where the proportion of government hospital births is lower than the state average. The Minister specifically mentioned Karimnagar district, which requires attention to improve performance in various parameters and reduce the rate of cesarean sections. To address this issue, a team under the joint director of the maternity department will conduct a week-long field observation, followed by the implementation of appropriate measures to ensure safer and more accessible birthing options for women.

Furthermore, the Minister instructed the Joint Director of the Immunization Department to visit Suryapet districts, where immunization rates are low, and take necessary steps to improve the situation. Vanaparthi, Mahabubabad, Mahabubnagar, Warangal, and Suryapet districts, which currently rank last in overall maternal health performance, were urged to focus on making progress and elevating their healthcare standards.

The Minister also emphasized the importance of enhancing health services provided at sub-centres. A total of 53 sub-centres were identified as offering services at a minimum level, and measures will be taken to improve their condition. To ensure the availability of essential medicines, the distribution will be closely monitored, with a minimum stock of three months being maintained at Primary Health Centers (PHCs). District Medical and Health Officers (DMHOs) have been advised to conduct regular reviews at the sub-centre and PHC levels, ensuring the delivery of quality medical services through field-level inspections.

During the teleconference, Health Secretary Rizvi, Family Welfare Commissioner Shweta Mahanthi, Director of Public Health Srinivasa Rao, and other medical officers were present, highlighting the collective commitment to enhancing healthcare services in Telangana.

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