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Chandigarh

Posted at: Mar 15, 2019, 7:29 AM; last updated: Mar 15, 2019, 7:29 AM (IST)

Blow to 700 NHM staffers

Asked to get themselves registered with outsourcing firms

Sandeep Rana
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 14

In a blow to about 700 staff members employed under the National Health Mission (NHM), UT, the Health Department, in a strange move, has asked them to get themselves registered with outsourcing companies against available posts.

Several employees, including doctors and Class IV workers, have been working on a contract basis under the government for the past 10-15 years. There is resentment among the NHM staff over the move which, they say, is a ploy to bring them under private players and sack them gradually.

A circular issued by the department reads, “All staff working under the NHM are hereby directed to get themselves registered with the service providers concerned of the Health Department and the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, for adjustment against posts on an outsourcing basis as per availability.”

The department has given a category-wise list of nine service providers. “I have been working for the past about 15 years under the NHM. How can they suddenly ask us to get registered with outsourcing firms against available posts? It is like not owning your baby,” lamented one of the disgruntled staff members.

“They are trying to intimidate us through such circulars as we had earlier demanded equal pay, equal work. After such circulars, many of us will have to leave our jobs. We do not want to get exploited further under private companies,” said a lab technician.

Dr G Diwan, Director, Health Services, UT, however, claimed, “It is not mandatory and is just an option. At present, they are not getting the DC rates, we wanted that through outsourcing, they at least get these. If they think by staying under the NHM their services are going to get regularised as in some states, it is not going to happen here as it is a stopgap arrangement. In states, 40 per cent funding is by states and 60 per cent by the Centre. In the UT, 100 per cent funding is by the Centre. States may get regularistion done through a legislation, which is not possible here.”

Doctors, pharmacists, nursing staff, data entry operators, lab technicians, dental technicians and others under the NHM are working in the city dispensaries and hospitals, including the GMCH-32, the GMSH-16 and the civil hospitals of Sector 22, 45 and Mani Majra. They said they were feeling threatened and were worried about the future of their kids now.

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