Demanding better service conditions, village health nurses (VHNs) from across the district staged a dharna near Tirupur railway station on Friday.

Listing out the professional issues they encounter, S. Sathyavanimuthu, State secretary of Tamil Nadu Village Health Nurses Association, told The Hindu that the officials should ensure that the sanitary napkins, meant for free distribution to the people in rural areas, be made available at the health sub-centres.

“Presently, the nurses have to travel all the way to either the primary health centres or the office of the Deputy Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine to collect the sanitary napkins and distribute it to the people,” she said.

Pay hike

They demanded that delays in promotion should be rectified and asked for parity in the pay scale for the VHNs and Health Inspectors who had completed five years of service. At the moment, VHNs and Health Inspectors enter the service on the same basic pay scale but only the Health Inspectors are getting grade pay hike after five years of service,” they said.

They condemned the tendency of senior health officials to reprimand the village health nurses whenever targets set for delivery and family planning cases were not achieved at the PHC level.

The other demands include allocation of adequate computers with internet connectivity at the health sub-centres so as to enter and transmit the health reports/data to the higher officials and abolition of new pension scheme.

In Coimbatore, 250 village health nurses took part in the fast.

More In: Coimbatore