Job security: Service structure for health workers notified

Paramedics, LHWs and dengue workers call off week-long protest after successful negotiations with the Health Dept


Ammar Sheikh December 17, 2015
Paramedics, LHWs and dengue workers call off week-long protest after successful negotiations with the Health Department. PHOTO: ONLINE

LAHORE: The Health Department issued a notification on Thursday regularising the services of paramedics and dengue programme workers who had been working against contracts. The department also agreed to give the status of civil servants to lady health workers.

The notification came on the seventh day of a protest demonstration by paramedics. The health workers demanding regularisation of services had threatened to boycott polio and dengue campaigns.

The Health Department notification also granted a weekly holiday for dengue programme workers. If they are called in on a holiday, they would be compensated with an alternative holiday or paid an overtime allowance.

The paramedics had been protesting in front of the services director general’s office for a week. They called off the protest following the notification.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Naveed Iqbal, a paramedic, said, “We had been protesting for our rights. The government had accepted our demands, but did not take steps to keep their promises.”

He said that the government had provided an improved service structure in 24 districts but the same cover was not provided to paramedics in Lahore.

“We came together with dengue programme workers and lady health workers who were also deprived of the improved service structure. Their services also not been regularised,” he said.

“We would have boycotted the polio vaccination drive if our demands had not been met,” he said.

He said Health Services DG Amjad Shahzad had accepted all demands of the protestors.

He said that a notification in this regard had been issued by the department and sent to the chief minister.

He said that if the government violated any part of the agreement, they would protest again.

According to the meeting minutes and the notification issued by the Health EDO, a copy of which is available with The Tribune, a four-tier service structure has been approved for paramedics.

Lady health workers, health supervisors and other employees in the national health programme would be given the status of civil servants and paid accordingly.

All workers in the dengue programme would be considered for regularisation. The final agreement between the paramedics and the Health Department said that workers of the dengue programme would be given a weekly holiday on Sunday and if they were called to duties on a holiday, they would be compensated and given another weekly holiday.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2015.

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