In a major step towards providing support to field level health care workers in Telangana, the State government on Monday announced paid maternity leave to all Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers, who are the backbone of primary health care services and efficient implementation of State-run public health initiatives.

The decision on maternity leave was taken by State Health Minister, T Harish Rao on Monday during a review meeting on ASHA and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) in Telangana. The Health Minister acknowledged the crucial role played by ASHAs and ANMS in delivering quality medical services to the people at the grassroots level.

In the past, ASHA workers had resorted to protests and demonstrations to secure wage hikes and timely remuneration. However, since statehood, wages for ASHA workers

have increased. Presently, ASHAs receive a monthly salary of Rs 9,750, while their counterparts in states governed by BJP and Congress receive only Rs 4,000 to 5,000.

The Health Minister has directed senior health officials to conduct a comprehensive study on the implementation of maternity leave with pay for ASHAs and ANMs. The findings of the study are expected to be presented in a detailed report, underlining the government’s commitment to recognizing and safeguarding the well-being of these frontline healthcare workers.

As a part of the ongoing 21-day celebrations on the occasion of Telangana Formation Day Decennial Celebrations, June 14 is being observed as Telangana Health Day. To ensure the day is successful, Harish Rao has also directed all the health care workers in the State to contribute to its success.
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