Lady health workers end protest after govt accepts demands


LAHORE: Lady health workers (LHW) protesting for five consecutive days outside the Punjab Assembly on Friday announced they were ending their sit-in after the Punjab government accepted their demands of regularising their services, benefiting at least 50,000 workers in pay scales 7-10.

A spokesperson for the lady health workers, while announcing an end to the sit-in, said that their demands had been accepted by the government.

Primary & Secondary Health Punjab (P&SH) Secretary Ali Jan Khan said that Punjab chief minister had approved the service structure of Lady Health Supervisors (LHSs) and Lady Health Workers (LHWs). He said that Punjab was the first province that approved SNE for 50 thousand LHWs and added that the government had released arrears worth Rs 1.2 billion for the health workers, an amount that will reach them within 15 days.

He also said the protesters created problems for the citizens, which was really condemnable. “The department has the right to take a disciplinary action against those who would not join their duties,” added the secretary.

This comes as a three-member Lahore High Court (LHC) bench headed by Justice Ameenuddin Khan, hearing a petition, earlier in the day directed the Punjab home secretary to end the sit-in of lady health workers.

The petitioner adopted the stance that the protest being carried out at the main thoroughfare for the last five days had paralysed the routine activities of the residents. The court was requested to direct the Punjab government to fulfil the demands of the protesters.

The LHWs had threatened to halt the Lahore Metrobus System if a notification for their service structure was not issued.

Hundreds of female employees of the health department demanded service structure and up-gradation of their Basic Pay Scales (BPS) under the banner of National Program Health Employees Association Punjab (NPHEAP). The sit-in outside the Punjab Assembly had continued for the last five days.

The protest had disrupted traffic in Lahore as the protesters had occupied the main thoroughfare, Mall Road, of the city.

The sit-in near Charing Cross on Mall Road had also polluted the area with trash all around that the protesting health workers had been clearing and burning on their own.