Jharkhand chief secretary Rajbala Verma on Friday ordered that auxiliary nurse mid-wives (ANMs) and general nursing mid-wives (GNMs) who do not live at the health centres where they are posted, be immediately suspended or dismissed.
Verma also directed district authorities to initiate departmental proceeding against medical officer in-charges of community health centres who paid salaries to the absentee ANMs and GNMs.
The chief secretary has directed the district authorities to suspend permanent ANMs and GNMs and terminate contractual ANMs.
Director in-chief health of Jharkhand Dr Praveen Chandra has issued letters to civil surgeons of all 24 districts in the state and has asked them to submit action taken reports within a week.
Hundreds of ANMs and nurses, especially those posted in rural or Maoist-affected health centres in connivance with the medical officer in-charge or union leaders stay away from their place of postings and they attend duty from either the district headquarters or from their home district.
Absence of ANMs and nurses at health centres has badly hit institutional delivery and immunisation campaigns in the state, said state director in-chief of health Dr Praveen Chandra.
“Action has been taken for streamlining execution of ongoing healthcare programmes in the state,” said over telephone from Ranchi,” Chandra said over the phone from Ranchi.
“ANMs and GNMs get house rent allowance so they can find suitable accommodations on rent at their places of posting,” he said.
“Block development officer and circle officer are ready to help them in getting quarters and there is no dearth of fund in the health department.”
He further said that the government wants to develop a maximum number of health centres in the state for institutional delivery.
Based on the population of an area, community health centres have been given grant of `70 lakh to `1 crore to develop infrastructure, basic amenities, and procure medicines to promote institutional delivery, he said.
“The plan can be successful only when nurses and doctors stay at the health centres.”
The Jharkhand Rajya Anubandhit NRHM Karmchari Sangh has strongly protested against the action of the
Rahul Pratap Singh, president of the sangh, said that most of the health centres are either dilapidated or are situated in remote areas.