Shillong ( Meghalaya), March 30 : The Meghalaya ASHA Benefit Scheme (MABS) and the Meghalaya Maternity Benefit Scheme (MMBS) which are a Government of Meghalaya initiative was introduced in the year 2011-12. The objective of the Meghalaya ASHA Benefit Scheme is to improve service delivery to the community.
Due to lack of release of funds till the financial year 2018-2019, the National Health Mission, Meghalaya could not make regular payments to the ASHAs.
A meeting on the irregular payments of these incentives was held in the month of June 2021, between the Government Officials and the Meghalaya ASHA Workers Union, wherein these issues were discussed in detailed and it was decided that the Meghalaya ASHA Benefit Scheme (MABS) will be replaced with a fixed monthly incentive of Rs.2000/- per ASHA effective from April 2021.
It was also decided that Meghalaya Maternity Benefit Scheme (MMBS) will be terminated effective April 2021 as there is already a similar existing Central Scheme known as the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) which was introduced since January 2017. It was also decided that backlog payments for both the above mentioned schemes will be paid to the ASHA Workers till March 2021.
The Government has released a total amount of Rs. 53 Crores (Rupees Fifty Three Crores only) this Financial Year (2021-22) for payment to the ASHA workers under these Schemes, which is the highest ever amount released by the Government in any year since inception of NHM for both the MABS and MMBS , for clearing of any backlog Incentive upto March 2021.
The Government of Meghalaya has duly released sanctions under the Meghalaya ASHA Benefit Scheme (MABS) for clearing of any backlog Incentive up to March 2021.
The sanction letter has been given to Deputy Commissioners of all districts on the funds release on 29th March 2022 with copies to District Medical and Health Officers for their information and necessary action.
With the support of National Health Mission, Meghalaya has introduced the ASHA and ASHA Facilitator payment mobile application. The sole purpose of developing the Application is to ease the payment process of ASHA incentives and ensure timely disbursement of the same. The application will also be an important support tool for programme officers at all level as it will enable regular monitoring and tracking of ASHA payment and ensure no time lag in payments.
This application has been rolled out in Umling Block of Ri-Bhoi District on a pilot basis. The number of ASHAs that have enrolled in the Application is 471 from entire Ri-Bhoi District, the total claims raised is Rs. 29.90 Lakhs , and an amount raised has been released for payment to the ASHAs through this application within 5 days from the time of claims. This process has cut down the time from 120-150 days to less than 5 days.