Health Assistants threaten to quit en masse if ministry fails to address their demandsHealth assistants from across the country have warned of en masse resignation if the Ministry of Health and Population fails to address their demands.
Health assistants from across the country have warned of en masse resignation if the Ministry of Health and Population fails to address their demands.
More than 5,000 health assistants are up in arms demanding the ministry not to implement the plan of allowing auxiliary health workers to head health posts.
“We have been demanding that the ministry appoint chiefs at health posts based on academic qualifications. Health assistants have more knowledge than auxiliary health workers and can provide more quality services,” Rabindra Shah, coordinator of Health Assistant Association Nepal of Province 2, told the Post. “If auxiliary health workers study health assistant course, they are welcome to head health posts.”
The association members, who have been trying to take their concerns before the ministry officials since Wednesday, were barred from entering the ministry premises on Thursday as well.
“Our ministry of health is not allowing us to enter its premises, citing it will create disturbance. If our presence and protests disturb the ministry officials, then they should implement our demands,” said Shah.
The agitating health assistants were also prohibited from entering the Singha Durbar to meet the officials at the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration.
The ministry had tabled the provision of allowing auxiliary health workers to be appointed as chiefs of health posts in the Cabinet and was about to endorse it on Thursday.
“Our protest compelled the ministry to hold the endorsement,” said Dipendra Khadka, senior vice-president of the association. “State Minister for Health and Population Dr Surendra Kumar Yadav assured that the provision would not get endorsed by Thursday’s Cabinet.”
If the ministry had not taken the step of holding the provision, the association was planning to enter the ministry by force.
More than 300 health assistants across the country had gathered at Maitighar Mandala in Kathmandu on Thursday after they were denied entry inside the ministry.
The agitating health assistants have demanded that the provision should be discussed with them before it is tabled in Cabinet.
“We will start collecting the resignation letter from our colleagues and keep it ready. The ministry will face serious consequences if our demands are not addressed,” said Shah.