Ludhiana, May 10
Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers, who are the main facilitators of healthcare facilities to the rural population, are irked over the fact that there is no provision of waiting rooms for them at most government hospitals and healthcare centres.
They said while their wages are not commensurate with the work they do, the minimal facility of waiting rooms is also denied to them at hospitals. As a result, they have to wait outside after they take a patient to a hospital. The problem becomes more severe when they are forced to sit outside the hospital during the odd hours, like at night.
ASHA workers play an important role in providing healthcare facilities to new mothers and children, especially in the rural areas. They identify and register new pregnant women, counsel them about antenatal care, birth preparedness and also take the to-be mothers to the nearest healthcare centres for deliveries.
They said they face the most difficult time when the patient is in the labour room and they do not have any place to sit, even as they cannot leave the mother before the delivery.
The president of ASHA Workers’ Union, Kirandeep Kaur, said the provision of waiting rooms at government hospitals has been their long-pending demand.
“During the day time, the offices and rooms at hospitals or health centres are open and we can use them conveniently. The problem arises during the odd hours of the night. We cannot leave the facility once the patient goes into labour. It becomes very difficult to wait alone during the night,” she said.
She added that a letter recommending the resolution of this problem had been sent to the Health Department from the Vidhan Sabha but the needful had not been done so far.
“An incident also took place recently when someone misbehaved with an ASHA worker when she was waiting for a patient in a park. We get meagre remunerations for the work we do. A secure place to sit and wait while the patient is at the hospital is the least we deserve,” she said.
Another ASHA worker said from providing healthcare facilities at the doorsteps of people to vaccination and institutional deliveries, they have been doing it all but the government is unable to provide them a secure place to sit.
“We need a separate room allotted for us and have been demanding that for long,” she said.
Night hours most difficult at hospitals
ASHA workers play an important role in providing healthcare facilities to new mothers and children, especially in the rural areas. They said they face the harshest time when the patient is in the labour room and they do not have any place to sit, even as they cannot yet leave the mother before the delivery. The night hours are more difficult without the facility of waiting rooms at hospitals.
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