With the strike by more than 7,000 employees of National Health Mission, under the banner of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) Employees Union, Punjab, entering its 5th week on Saturday, health services across the state, especially the routine exercise of monitoring and collecting information about expecting women and new-borns under the Mother and Child tracking system introduced by the union ministry of health and family welfare has collapsed.
Auxiliary nurse midwife and ASHA workers are also part of the strike with its main demand as the regularization of services.
The immunisation of newborns, usually undertaken on a weekly basis, could not be undertaken this week.
Last week, the state government formed a committee comprising 13 members, headed by chief parliamentary secretary (health) Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu, but employees claim that they do not have much hope from the committee. The panel is to submit its report in a month.
Punjab National Health Mission director Hussan Lal said, “A meeting has been held with civil surgeons of all districts and we have issued guidelines to ensure smooth conduct of all medical operations in the district.”