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PR Short Notes


Photo Source: Dawn

Pakistan Reader# 465, 12 December 2022

Government declares PKR 250 million compensation for flood-affected polio workers



Why the government held out aid for healthcare staff as ‘first priority’

Bhoomika Sesharaj

On 12 December, Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel announced PKR 250 million as compensatory aid for 12,500 polio workers who were distressed by the recent climate-induced floods in the country. Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel acknowledged the services of the polio workers and said that they came “to the aid” of their “fellow citizens” despite suffering challenges and losses in the floods. This comes as the National Emergency Operation Center (NEOC) has been directed by the minister to compensate the polio workers. NEOC’s coordinator emphasised that the centre’s “first priority” was to compensate workers. 

The coordinator said that the agency has identified 350,000 front-line staff affected by the floods and that an “extensive exercise” was conducted in all the provinces to analyse the impact of the floods on the polio workers. The Pakistan Polio Programme also assessed that nearly 12,500 health workers were affected by the flood, with a majority in Sindh and Balochistan regions. 

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health workers ask for restoration

Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) polio workers warned of protests against Imran Khan’s residences if fired employees were not restored within the two-day deadline given to the provincial government. The sacked employees were part of the expanded program of immunisation (EPI) and worked at facilities that undertook Covid-19 patients during the pandemic and were also a part of the KP health department. The employees claimed that they have not been given their salaries for the past year and that the unfulfillment of their demands would be leaving them “with no option” but to hold protests outside Imran Khan’s residences in Islamabad and Lahore. Health technician union in KP said that it has “become impossible” for the health workers to run their homes and that the provincial government was “blaming coffers” and asked the sacked employees of their “responsibility” for the “financial crunch” they are facing. (Ikram Junaidi, “Rs250m announced for flood-affected polio workers,” Dawn, 12 December 2022)

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