BHUBANESWAR: A week after announcing special incentives for doctors, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday doled out financial assistance for Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers in the State.Hailing the contribution of the workers in healthcare delivery, Naveen enhanced the one-time honorarium from `10,000 to `20,000 under ASHA Abyahati Yojana and declared one-time financial assistance of `10,000 to encourage their dedicated service. Using the grant-in-aid, the ASHA workers will purchase bicycle, almirah, umbrella, rechargeable torch and shoes. The almirah will be used to store medicines, sanitary napkins, registers and information and communication materials safely.
The Chief Minister said more than 47,000 ASHA workers engaged both in rural areas and urban slums will be benefited by the scheme.The ASHA workers will receive the honorarium when they retire at the age of 62 or under Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) after completing at least 10 years of service.
The announcement was made in the wake of high success rate in institutional deliveries and immunisation programme besides the decline in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR).
“I am delighted that Odisha has registered a distinct decline in IMR and MMR in the last one decade and there has been significant improvement in other health indicators,” the CM said.
On an average 887 people are being served by one ASHA worker in the State. The workers are involved in 41 health-related activities including reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health as well as disease control programmes.ASHAs are getting monthly conditional remuneration of `2,000 since April on discharging of five mandatory and four assured activities.
While maternity benefit of `1000 per month for a period of six months and compensation package for death and permanent disability have been announced, the amount of incentive paid to the ASHA workers in 2017-18 was `117.82 crore.On August 3, Naveen had approved the proposal that aimed at providing incentive of `30,000 per month to doctors under Odisha Medical Health Services Cadre with super specialisation from MCI-recognised medical colleges.