Health and Family Welfare Dept cares little for paramedics

Staff in PHC, and hospitals not paid for four months

 Thousands of paramedics working all over the State under different projects of the Health and Family Welfare Department claimed they are yet to get their salary from May to August.

The staff members of the District Hospital, which is under the management of the Health and Family Welfare Directorate, face no such problems. But the paramedical and D-group staff- including medical and laboratory assistants, x-ray specialists and chemists- at the taluk hospitals, primary health centres and community health centres are struggling to meet their daily needs.

Worse, on several occasions, when the entire community celebrates festivals, they are forced to come to work. The issue is a cause for family fights for many of the staff members here.

Passing the buck

The officers concerned, when asked about the delay in payment of salary, point fingers at the government, say some of the staff.

“Whenever we ask, the officers say the government has released the funds for the salary only a couple of days ago. They then explain that the money can be given by the Department office to each health centre and hospital only after it has been registered in the treasury.

The funds will be distributed by the Zilla Panchayat going by the accounts,” complain R Jayalakshmi, president of the Health Department Employees’ Union, and vice-president R Satyanarayana Gowda.

“The major problem is the irregular maintenance of accounts in the Health Department. The funds have to move from the Union government to State government and then to the Zilla Panchayat.

Such processes of distribution are moving at a snail’s pace and we are the receiving end of such poor management.” The Union leaders say that there are no takers for their problems regardless of whether they complained to district-level or State-level officers.

“Payment of salary has been irregular for one and a half years,” says Nandish, another union leader and concurs that the paramedics at the District Hospital are in much better condition.

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