Health workers’ strike hits civic body’s drive
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The ongoing strike by 282 multi-purpose health workers (MPHWs) hit the process of door-to-door survey and treatment for diseases like malaria, dengue, chicken guinea, leprosy and polio in the rural areas of the district. The workers have been boycotting work for last 18 days demanding regularisation of their services and other benefits.
"The door-to-door surveillance and treatment for malaria and other disease has been hampered since July 27 as the MPHWs went on indefinite strike. However, 505 female MPHWs, who provide health services to pregnant women and lactating mothers, are on duty. We are also taking help of Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers to maintain services in rural areas," a top officer in district health department said on Tuesday.
There are 2,088 ASHA workers in the district. However, their main job is to provide women and child welfare services.
The strike by MPHWs has left the short-staffed health department high and dry. Against the sanctioned 465 positions, it has only 52 regular MPHWs. And to prevent further deterioration in the situation, officials are going soft on the striking workers.
"Contract workers cannot go on strike. A day's illegal absence on duty can earn a worker termination of his contract. However, we have not initiated such action against any of the striking workers. Instead, we are open to continue their services should they approach us," the officer said.
Meanwhile the department is gearing up to appoint regular MPHWs.
"Gujarat Panchayat Service Selection Board has declared results for examination of MPHWs. The agency has allocated 170 successful candidates to Vadodara," sources in Chief District Health Officer's office said.
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