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Priority Tag For Health Care Workers

Bhubaneswar: In a relief for agitating  Auxiliary Nurse Midwives and other paramedics, the Odisha Government has announced that temporary health care workers who had worked in COVID-19 care facilities during the pandemic will get priority in regular appointments on the basis of their qualifications.

 Health and Family Welfare Minister Naba Kishore Das while replying to questions raised by BJP whip Mohan Majhi and Congress whip Taraprasad Bahinipati in the assembly.

The Minister said that about 21,000 ANMs, staff nurses, pharmacists, radiographers and multipurpose health workers (MPHW) were appointed purely on a temporary basis keeping in view the pandemic situation last year.

There was no formal scrutiny or any other criteria for their appointment. They were also categorically told that they would be disengaged from service as and when the number of coronavirus cases would decline, Das said.

Around 20,000 Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) across the state, have been on dharna since two months demanding regular appointments after their disengagement from service following a reduction in the number of active COVID-19 cases in the state.

Two ANMs had attempted self-immolation and some others were hospitalised for resorting to hunger strike. Some of them had even demonstrated on streets wearing PPE kits.

The ANMs and the other paramedics were engaged in COVID-19 Hospitals, COVID-19 Care Centres and other facilities on a daily wage basis for three months, the minister said.

Currently there are 1,099 ANM vacancies in the state, Das said.

The State Government will consider regular appointment of the ANMs engaged in duty during the pandemic as per their qualifications, Mr.Das said.

Advertisements have been put out for the appointment of 600 pharmacists and 200 radiographers, the minister said.

The state will also appoint 6434 staff nurses in future and all the appointments will be made by the Odisha Sub-ordinate Staff Selection Commission (OSSSC), he said