RAWALPINDI - As many as seven lady health workers (LHWs) are facing a difficult situation due to non-payment of salaries for last five months. The LHWs, who even continue to perform their duties amid serious threats to their lives by terrorists, have not been paid their monthly wages since October 2013 by District Health Department (DHD), reliable sources informed The Nation on Tuesday.
The sources added that the LHWs had performed duties in the area during the anti-dengue and anti-polio campaigns in October 2013 but the district health department did not release their salaries owing to which they were finding it difficult to survive.
An LHW while talking to this scribe said that the authorities concerned had not given them the salaries because of unknown reasons. She said that the workers could not reach the office on time in November owing to curfew in the garrison city that was imposed after the Pindi incident. She added that as a punishment, the office clerk told them that they would deduct our one-month salaries.
"The administration had assigned them the task as LHWs but later they forced them to perform duties in anti-polio drives, anti-dengue campaign and family planning awareness campaign," said Shamim Bibi adding that despite of hectic duties, we were not being paid our salaries. "I am facing serious financial problems due non-payment of salary" she said.
She said that DHD on February 10 had paid other LHWs the salaries for the month of October 2013 but their salaries were not released, as they were marked absent for reaching their office late.
District Officer (Health) Dr Khalid Randhawa, however, when contacted for his comments, said that they often released three months salary at a time. He rebuffed the allegations leveled by LHWs.
He said that if a LHW was absent then the department issued her a show cause notice instead of deducting her salary. "I had not received a single complaint on the part of any LHW on the issue of salaries," he said adding that the LHWs should approach him in his office and their problems would be solved.