The Maharashtra government is thinking of considering 30 per cent of the the National Health Mission or NHM contractual staff for permanent roles in the public health department. However, the contractual staff are not satisfied since their numbers are huge and their consideration for permanent roles will only happen slowly in phases. They want all the other contractual employees who are not eligible for permanent positions also to be brought under the same pay scale till they can be made permanent.
Since 25 October, nurses, doctors, lab technicians, community medical officers and other healthcare workers under the NHM have been on an indefinite strike. They are seeking permanent roles or wish to be made permanent in the posts they are currently holding. The protestors include the staff from various district- and sub-district level hospitals and also primary health centres. There are about 35,000 contractual staff in the state on strike presently, with 5,300 from Pune itself, which has disrupted healthcare services.
It has been decided that during the annual hiring of NHM staff, contractual employees will be given an opportunity to occupy 30 per cent of the vacancies. Those contractual employees who have been working for NHM for over a decade will be considered for permanent roles.
The changes in the recruitment policy and processes will take some time to be implemented but the process is already underway. Therefore, the protestors have been requested to call off the strike.
However, the strikers wish to continue the strike demanding that even the contractual employees who have not completed 10 years of service should be included in the same pay scale and provided the same work.