The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government on Thursday, October 8 announced that it has agreed to modify the salary structure of contractual workers under the National Health Mission (NHM).
The move is reportedly expected to benefit at least 22,500 employees. These staff members have been demanding better pay and permanent postings for a while 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, reported The Indian Express.
State Health Minister Rajesh Tope stated that funds worth ₹53 crore required for the salary modification will be provided and the income disparity between the employees in urban areas will be equal to those posted in rural areas. There are at least 597 posts for doctors of allopathy, Ayurveda, homoeopathy and Unani in NHM.
Meanwhile, the state government is also working towards modifying rules for recruitment of officials for permanent postings to allow NHM contractual staffers to apply for the same, according to the officials privy to the matter.
The NHM was launched in the state 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.