ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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ASHA Workers’ Struggle for Recognition

ASHA workers’ resistance underscores recognising workers’ rights as central to reimagining public health.

Delhi’s Mohalla Clinics Hold the Potential to Significantly Improve Access to Quality Healthcare

In 2015, the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government introduced “Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics” to provide affordable basic healthcare to marginalised sections of society at their “doorsteps.” This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the programme based on a survey of 493 respondents. We found that while AAMCs partially meet their stated objectives, several areas need urgent attention including lack of information about clinics, casteism by doctors and property owners, and availability of services.

Our Essential Workers Need Essential Care

Through personal interviews of healthcare workers in India, the state of front-line workers in dealing with Covid-19 in the country is discussed. Lack of personal protective equipment and beds as well as the caste system that operates when it comes to doing cleaning work in the hospitals aggravates the already debilitating condition of healthcare personnel. Despite being the most important stakeholders of health in rural areas, the accredited social health activists are leading a life full of struggles.

ASHAs’ Health Services

The intrinsic commitment of the accredited social health activists towards the well-being of the community is unduly exploited by the state in the name of “volunteerism.” It is high time a wholesome definition of work is adopted to understand the inconspicuous contributions made by these front-line healthcare workers, who form a key link in the public health system in India.

AYUSH and Health Services

Maharashtra’s policies for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) professionals are discriminatory, allowing them to engage in “mixed practice” and recruiting them either as paramedics or as administrators in the general health services system, without ensuring equal status with their allopathic counterparts. It is in this context that the nature of engagement of AYUSH professionals with the state health system is examined.

The Challenge of Breastfeeding Sensitisation

Mothers’ Absolute Affection, the nationwide programme to improve breastfeeding, attempts to achieve the same by incentivising frontline health workers to create awareness on the issue. However, a pilot study shows that hiring breastfeeding consultants at the district hospital level is not only more economically feasible, but also results in improved breastfeeding rates.

Nursing Education in India

This article explores the history of nursing education in India, and the state, community and market factors contributing to its recent growth. The quality of training offered in these mushrooming institutions, however, tends to be poor. Regularisation and standardisation remain the greatest challenges for Indian nursing. Graduating nurses face job shortages and poor working conditions, especially in the private sector. Understanding the nursing education sector is important in the aftermath of the central government’s mandate to increase the wages of nurses in private hospitals.

'Is This Even Work?'

Based on an ethnographic study amongst professional caregivers (nurses, nursing aides and attendants) in three medical establishments in Kolkata, this article explores how reproductive/use-value labour when brought into the public realm as productive/ exchange-value labour survives its association with servile, sexual, menial, feminine labour and continues to remain stigmatised. It examines the nursing labour market to interrogate how the precise nature of the labour performed, structures the perception of the worker of herself as an inferior, performing disreputable, stigmatised labour. Within the grids of gender, class and caste, work and workers mutually constitute each other to define what respectable work is. Such perceived value of work plays a pivotal role in justifying low wages, social recognition and identity as a worker.

A Holistic Prescription

Shortage of medical personnel in rural areas needs a multifaceted strategy.

Wounded Healers

Evidence points out that physicians in training who work for extended hours remain at great risk of injuring patients or themselves. Being motivated by the best intentions is not enough; they need to be given adequate rest. The time to regulate work hours is long overdue.

Nutrition Programmes Face Fund Crunch

At a time, when there is widespread concern about the very high levels of child malnutrition in India, important nutrition programmes may be badly threatened due to budget cuts. The Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi expressed this very serious apprehension on 19 October...

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