Health services across Haryana were severely hit on Tuesday with about 12,000 contractual employees of the National Health Mission (NHM) going on strike, demanding regularisation of their service and pay at par with their counterparts in other departments.
The state government, on the other hand, ordered the immediate termination of services of NHM employees’ association president Surender Gautam, vice-president Vijay Kamboj, general secretary Atul Gijwani and members Vikram Soni, Tarandeep Singh and Pushkar Dahiya. The government is also planning to register police cases against them for instigating other employees and disrupting the health services.
Similar action would be taken against all those employees who would participate in such strikes, health minister Anil Vij told HT and added that all NHM employees had been cautioned by him against going on strike on Monday.
However, the situation at the health centres across the state seemed set to aggravate on Wednesday as NHM employees threatened to continue their strike even after Vij’s action against their leaders and his warning of action against other striking employees.
“These employees had been hired on contract basis under the Centre-run NHM for completing a specified task within a specified period and it is clearly specified in their contracts that they could not stake claim for regularisation of their services,” he said.
Vij said that in view of the prevalence of diseases such as dengue and chikungunya in the state, the strike amounted to abdication of responsibility and posed a grave risk to the health of patients and the society.
Vij, however, also said that it seemed that some external forces were instigating the employees. “This would not be allowed,” he asserted.
To a question pertaining to the agitation of doctors, he said a notice had already been issued to doctors against proceeding on strike. Cases would be registered against doctors if they would go on strike, for instigating the employees and disrupting government health services, he added.
WHAT DO NHM WORKERS DO?
National Health Mission (NHM) workers’ services are used in departments such as ambulance (both driver and emergency medical technician), maternal health, vaccinations, adolescent health, birth and death records, child immunisations, Asha, data entries and OPDs.
Doctors call off strike
Chandigarh The Haryana Civil Medical Service Association (HCMSA) on Tuesday decided to defer its agitation in view of the “positive attitude” of the state government towards its demands.
The HCMSA had threatened to go on a mass causal leave on Wednesday and strike from Thursday onwards. HCMSA president Jasbir Singh Panwar said a meeting of their state executive body was held at Panipat on Tuesday. They said a notification on hiked postmortem allowance had been received on Monday. Also, the issue of enhancement of doctors’ retirement age to 65 years had been decided in a meeting under the chairmanship of chief minister Manohar Khattar Khattar on October 19 and the notification in this regard was expected within this month, they added.
Regarding the pending HCMSA demands, health minister Anil Vij had instructed the additional chief secretary, health, Rajan Gupta to expedite the proceedings, they said.