Government may refund bill incurred during emergency treatment of the poor
Denied transfers and non-recognition of health workers were the most commonly aired grievances during a meet with the newly-elected Health and Family Welfare Minister, U.T. Khader, in Mangalore on Saturday.
Junior Health Assistants (Female) – formerly called Auxillary Nurses-cum-Midwives (ANMs) – Susanna T.A. from Punjalkatte, Gulzar Banu from Sajipanadu in Bantwal taluk, Kasturi from Tribal Mobile Unit, Perdur in Udupi district and Geeta Kumari from Naravi complained to the Minister that they had been denied promotions for more than 14 years even though they had undertaken advanced training.
“We joined the service as ANMs in 1998, and around 10 years ago, we did a three-year General Nurse Midwifery course. However, citing CnR (Cadre and Recruitment) rules they did not promote us to staff nurses. Around five years ago, we underwent a 10-month diploma course in Nursing Education hoping to become nursing teachers, but we still have not received an appointment or promotion for that,” said Ms. Susanna.
The four approached the Minister claiming this delay had reduced the morale among ANMs who had similarly taken up advanced courses. Mr. Khader assured them that the rules would be relooked, and those enthusiastic about teaching or becoming a nurse would be given their due.
For some like Santosh S., they approached the Minister hoping to get their spouses transferred. “The rules say, spouses in government service should be transferred to be together. But, as I work in an aided institution, they deny the transfer saying I’m not a government worker,” said Mr. Santosh.
Earlier, addressing presspersons, Mr. Khader said containing the spread of communicable diseases was his priority, and district-level meetings would be held on creating awareness about the prevention and treatment of these diseases.
The statements come against the backdrop of the death of at least four children in Saalundi village of Mysore taluk due to dengue on Friday. Mr. Khader said an inquiry has been launched to ascertain whether there was dereliction on the part of district health officials.
“In the case of an outbreak of any communicable disease, the health officials in the district will be held accountable,” he said.
He added that the government plans to start a scheme where private hospitals will be refunded for any emergency treatment of patients from the economically-backward class. “We don’t want a scenario where a family is spurned from crucial treatment only because they can’t afford it,” said Mr. Khader.