LAHORE: Despite the reduction in their number, the protest by Lady Health Workers (LHWs) entered the third day at Charing Cross in Lahore.
The agitated health workers who were still part of the protest said they will happily go back to their homes and jobs once Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif sign a service structure for them.
The other protesting women stated that the provincial government should heed the demand of the workers, who have left their families and children to push the authorities to pay their withheld salaries and issue an approved service structure.
On March 26, hundreds of female employees of the health department demanding service structure and up-gradation of their Basic Pay Scales (BPS) under the banner of National Program Health Employees Association Punjab (NPHEAP) staged a sit-in outside the Punjab Assembly on Monday.
Explaining the 16-point charter of demand, Rozeena Khan, a LHS who came all the way from the Khanewal district, told Pakistan Today that they were demanding immediate service structure for over 50,000 employees of their association, and the government must promote LHS to grade 14 while LHWs should be promoted to grade 7 and drivers must be given grade 5 according to their qualification and expertise.
“All of us are over-burdened as we have to perform different duties of vaccination campaigns including polio, measles, dengue while the government imposes other tasks on us including Muharram, Ramadan Bazars and election days duties,” said Rozeena, who is the president of her association from Khanewal.
Parveen Akhtar, an LHW, who had come from the Jehlum district, told this scribe that all the LHWs of her district had not received their salaries for the past four months and the government was reluctant to clear their arrears pending since 2012.
On Tuesday, over a dozen lady health workers (LHWs) fainted as the ongoing protest demonstration of hundreds of female employees of the health department outside the Punjab Assembly on entered the second day.
As per the details, several LHWs were shifted to nearby hospitals as they collapsed while staging their sit-in for the second consecutive day on Mall Road under the banner of the National Program Health Employees Association Punjab (NPHEAP) and their negotiations with the health department are still unsuccessful.
Speaking to Pakistan Today, NPHEAP President Rukhsana Anwar said that as many as 15 of her colleagues fainted on Tuesday and one of them was in critical condition at a hospital in Lahore.