Northeast

Meghalaya government introduces ASHA Payment App

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and the Health department has set a mandate to ensure timely payments without any delay to every ASHA worker.

ByNNN/Shillong

Updated 11 Oct 2022, 2:02 pm

(Photo: IFP)
(Photo: IFP)

The Accredited Social Health Activists commonly known as ASHA(s) have been the backbone of the health system in ensuring maternal and child health at both rural and urban areas. They are paid task-based incentives where they have to raise their claims on a monthly basis. But this led to several delays of payment in the past due to lengthy approval processes. To curb this problem, the Meghalaya State government introduced the ASHA Payment Application, an end to end direct to beneficiary payment app developed specifically to ease the payment process of ASHA incentives.

After releasing about Rs 80 crore of pending payments, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and the Health department had set a mandate to ensure timely payments without any delay to every ASHA worker.

Keeping her phone aside, Happy Mawkdoh, ASHA under Mawroh PHC, said, ‘’I have just raised my claim for this month on my phone’’. She explains that through the app, ‘’payments are made within 5 days from the time the claim is raised’’. Prior to this initiative, ASHA workers had to wait for months to avail their incentives. ‘’delay in payments in the past led to several unrest amongst us’’ she said.

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The ASHA Payment App was successfully rolled out across the State since March, 2022 and till date, about 7067 ASHAs have registered under the ASHA Payment App, of which six thousand nine hundred and fifteen (6915) have been approved. A total of Rs. 9.13 crore has been disbursed so far.

According to the Mission Director, National Health Mission, Ramkumar S, “The old system was tedious, time consuming and has too many processes which resulted in delay of payments.”

Earlier, the payment process for ASHA would take 120-150 days, however, with the use of the App, this has been reduced to 5-7 working days. Along with timely disbursement of payment, the application also ensures transparency as payment is made directly to the individual’s bank account.

It also enables the district and State officials to monitor the performance of ASHAs and to generate payment status reports on a real time basis. All the details are made available on www.meghealth.in for anyone to check on the details.

A 47 years old ASHA worker from Mowtyrshiah village, West Jaintia Hills, Judis Shadap, recalls how long it would take for her to get her payments/incentives after she had submitted her claim to the Local ASHA facilitators.

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Now, however, she relies on her daughter to raise her claims in the Asha Payment App. "I am still not familiar with raising payment through my phone, I still record all my tasks in a register and my daughter helps me raise claims in the app", she said.

Despite facing low internet connectivity, Piulish R Marak, District Community Process Coordinator under NHM, Tura, stated that ASHAs have been raising their incentives claims through the app realising that the app offers several advantages for the end users, significantly in raising their claims which they have realised gets settled earlier and more efficiently by using the ASHA payment app. It has also made them more aware of their payment eligibility and reasons for their payment ineligibility.

Currently, the payment to ASHA workers is done from the PHC level by consolidating the incentives entitlements under different health programmes under the National Health Mission and for all the ASHAs under a particular PHC. The total amount is paid on a monthly basis i.e. within the 30th of every month.

Use of the app ensures accountability, efficiency, transparency and improves the system for effective monitoring of the ASHAs performance.

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First published:

Tags:

meghalaya governmenthealthASHA AppCM Conrad

NNN/Shillong

NNN/Shillong

Newmai News Network, Shillong, Meghalaya

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