The state government on Thursday agreed to modify the salary structure of contractual workers under the National Health Mission (NHM), benefiting at least 22,500 employees.
The NHM was launched in Maharashtra in 2007 to provide an overall health infrastructure for various programmes in urban and rural bodies. It runs programmes related to non-communicable diseases, mental health as well as maternal and child care and has appointed at least 29,000 doctors, paramedics, technicians, nurses, and multi-purpose workers.
Contractual staffers of NHM have been demanding better pay and permanent postings for years now.
“We were noticing that contractual employees were quitting jobs to join the private sector for better pay. As new programmes were added in NHM, we created contractual posts and fixed salaries. But there were variations in the salary structure between old and new posts,” said Dr Mahesh Botle, from the health department.
In 2018, a proposal was prepared to introduce pay parity in the salary structure. Health officials said the proposal, which was approved on Thursday, will improve the pay structure of 22,500 contractual employees, of whom 12,000 would benefit as per the minimum wage requirement.
Health Minister Rajesh Tope said funds worth Rs 53 crore required for the salary modification will be made available. The salaries of employees in urban areas will not be higher than those posted in rural areas, he added. There are at least 597 posts for doctors of allopathy, ayurveda, homeopathy and Unani in NHM.
Meanwhile, the state government is in process of modifying rules for recruitment of officials for permanent postings to allow NHM contractual staffers to apply for the same, said officials.
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