Karnataka govt hikes salaries of NHM docs, ASHA workers continue protest

NHM doctors have stopped their protests following the hike, while ASHA workers are still demanding better pay and safety equipment.

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On July 21, the Government of Karnataka hiked the salaries of doctors working under the National Health Mission (NHM) to Rs. 45,000 a month. According to a statement by Minister for Medical Education Dr Keshavareddy Sudhakar, the state has agreed to the demand for hike in wages and will be bearing financial burden of the same.

The decision was taken following a meeting chaired by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.

With this move, as many as 2000 professionals in the fields of ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, unani and siddha are set to benefit. Doctors in Karnataka have been agitating for the hike for some time now. Now that their demand has been met, they have stopped their protest.

However, the Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers in the state continue to protest in the state. Since July 10, ASHA workers who have been roped in by the government to work as frontline workers in the fight against the pandemic, have stopped their work and are demanding that their monthly wage be increased to Rs 12,000. They are also seeking better safety equipment.

Not only do they conduct door-to-door surveys of people suffering from acute respiratory illnesses, but ASHA workers also take these ill people for swab tests and help to quarantine them.

The Medical Education Minister has, however, added that the issue of hiking the salaries of ASHA workers is also being looked into.