NHM medics decide to continue strike, say won’t budge
Srinagar: While the National Health Mission (NHM) Employees continued with their strike both in Jammu and Kashmir divisions, its representatives Wednesday finally met with Principal Secretary, Health and Medical Education, AtalDullo in Jammu. However, the meeting and assurances thereof seem not to have impressed the employees as they have decided to carry on with the strike.
Spokesperson, J&K NHM Employees’ Association, Abdul Rouf told ‘Kashmir Vision’ that the representatives of the NHM Employees Wednesday met the Principal Secretary, who assured them that their demands were genuine and that the same will be addressed soon.
“We today met Principal Secretary, Health and Medical Education, AtalDullo who listened to us and told us that our demands are genuine and the government will do whatever it can to address the issues,” Rouf said.
The striking employees, under the umbrella of All J&K NHM Employees’ Association, are demanding the regularization of their duties, while also demanding equal work-equal pay, social security benefits among other unfulfilled demands.
Rouf said that Principal Secretary assured that steps will be taken to take care of the demands regarding social security benefits to the NHM employees. However, regarding the regularization, which is the bone of contention, Principal Secretary maintained, it was for the Centre to take a call.
“He said that regarding the social security benefits, steps will be taken to get that done, however, regarding the regularization, he said, it was a policy matter on which the Centre can take a call. The government will pursue the issue, but it will take time,” Rouf said quoting AtalDullo having said so.
On the other side, the assurance given by the Principal Secretary seems not to have impressed the employees, who have decided to carry on with their strike in order to press for their demands.
“We will continue with the strike unless and until our genuine demands are not met,” the spokesperson said.
Earlier, the employees had observed a marathon strike from December 2017 till January 2018 after which, an agreement was laid down between the government and the NHM employees.
Meanwhile, Doctors Association of Kashmir (DAK) Wednesday in a statement said that the demands of NHM doctors must be addressed at the earliest as peripheral health sector is on the verge of collapse due to their continuous strike.
“Due to continuous strike by National Health Mission (NHM) staff, duties of regular staff have been stretched beyond human capabilities and capacities as lot of doctors and paramedics are put on continuous duties for many days and nights together for which we are continuously receiving distraught calls from such Doctors,” the statement quoted Dr Owais H Dar, General Secretary DAK as having said.
As per the statement, DrArshed H Trag, Joint Secretary DAK said that “all genuine demands of NHM doctors must be addressed at the earliest as peripheral health sector is on the verge of collapse due to their continuous strike which has exhausted the regular staff. It is high time that Government must jump in and frame a solid policy regarding the demands of NHM Staff so that the issues are settled once for all.”
DAK has appealed the Governor of J&K state, Satya Pal Malik and Advisor, K Vijay Kumar to ‘take personnel interest’ in mitigating the long pending demands of doctors of the state.