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Cabinet Increases Supervisory Visit Charges for ASHA Facilitators

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the increase in supervisory visit charges for ASHA Facilitators from ₹250/-per visit to ₹300/- per visit for 2018-2019 to 2019- 2020 w.e.f. October 2018 (to be paid in November, 2018). ASHA Facilitator will undertake about 20 supervisory visits per month. With the proposed increase, ASHA Facilitators would receive about ₹6000 per month against ₹5000 per month that is an increase of ₹1000/- per month.

Details

  • Enrolment of ASHA facilitators under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana as part of ASHA Benefit package.
  • To motivate ASHA facilitators to perform better, the supervisory visit charges for ASHA Facilitators has been increased from ₹250/-per visit to ₹300/- per visit w.e.f. October 2018 (to be paid in November, 2018).
  • With the approved increase, ASHA Facilitators would receive about ₹6000 per month against ₹5000 per month that is an increase of ₹1000/- per month.

The existing institutional mechanisms for the National Health Mission (NHM) would be utilized to implement the decision. The proposal entails an estimated additional expenditure of ₹46.95 crore comprising of ₹15.65 crore during 2018-19 (for six months) and ₹31.30 crore during 2019-20 as central share.

Benefits

41,405 ASHA facilitators. This is in addition to the following benefits extended by earlier Cabinet Decision on 19.9.2018:

  • Coverage of 10, 63, 670 ASHAs and ASHA Facilitators under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana.
  • Increase in routine and recurring incentives from ₹1000/- per month to ₹2000/- per month to benefit 1,022,265 ASHAs.
  • Increase in honorarium for nearly 2,700,000 Anganwadi Workers/Anganwadi Helpers.

This will be implemented as part of ASHA Benefit Package approved in September, 2018.

Background

As part of support mechanism, an ASHA facilitator is in place for between 10 to 25 ASHAs, to provide handholding and mentoring support, and monitor performance. She is a critical link of the support structure network. Substantial progress has been made by states in setting up support structures during the last three years, as states have increasingly become cognizant of the correlation between strong support structures and an effective ASHA program. The ASHA facilitators are generally selected from amongst the ASHAs themselves. This position also serves as a career opportunity for ASHAs with the requisite qualifications, experience and aptitude.

All states except Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, West Bengal, Rajasthan and UTs have selected ASHA Facilitators.  In these states, on-the- job mentoring support to ASHAs is provided by ANMs or, as in the case of West Bengal, by the Supervisor appointed by the Gram Panchayat or PHC supervisors at PHC level, as in the case of Rajasthan.  Over half of the states (11 out of 19) that have ASHA Facilitators, have selected them from amongst a cluster of ASHAs, provided they meet all the selection criteria. These include states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab and Sikkim. In other states, preference is given to ASHAs in selection of ASHA facilitators.Maharashtra, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Gujarat. Goa does not have ASHAs.

ASHA Facilitator undertakes about 20 supervisory visits per month. The role of ASHA Facilitators is broadly summarized as under:

  • Conduct village visits (comprising of accompanying ASHA on household visits, conducting community/VHSNC meetings, attending Village Health and Nutrition Days).
  • Conduct cluster meetings of all ASHAs in the area once a month.
  • Enable ASHAs in reaching the most marginalized households.
  • Support ASHA training at the block level.
  • Facilitate selection of new ASHAs.
  • Facilitate grievance redressal.

Subsequent to the Cabinet approval, representations were received from ASHA Facilitators seeking increase in the supervisory visit charges. While the benefit of Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana was also provided to ASHA facilitators, ASHA Facilitators have been representing that their supervisory visit charges may also be enhanced which will motivate them to perform better. – PIB