Meghalaya Government Introduces ASHA Payment App | MorungExpress
Newmai News Network
shilling | October 9
Accredited Social Health Activists commonly referred to as ASHA(s) have been the backbone of the health system to ensure maternal and child health in rural and urban areas. They receive task-based incentives where they have to increase their claims on a monthly basis. But this has resulted in several payment delays in the past due to lengthy approval processes.
To limit this problem, the state government of Meghalaya has introduced the ASHA Payment App, an end-to-end direct payment application to beneficiaries developed specifically to facilitate the payment process for ASHA incentives.
After releasing around Rs 80 crore of pending payments, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and the Department of Health had set a mandate to ensure timely payments without any delays to every ASHA worker.
Keeping his phone aside, Happy Mawkdoh, ASHA under Mawroh PHC, said, “I just raised my claim for this month on my phone.” She explains that thanks to the application, “payments are made within 5 days of the creation of the claim”. Prior to this initiative, ASHA workers had to wait months for their incentives. “Payment delays in the past have caused several troubles among us,” she said.
The ASHA Payment App has been successfully deployed statewide since March 2022 and to date, approximately seven thousand sixty-seven (7067) ASHAs have registered under the ASHA Payment App, including six thousand nine hundred fifteen (6915) were approved. A total of Rs. 9.13 crores has been disbursed so far.
According to Mission Director, National Health Mission, Ramkumar S, “the old system was tedious, time-consuming and had too many processes that resulted in late payments.”
Previously, the payment process for ASHA took 120-150 days, however, with the use of the app, this has been reduced to 5-7 business days. Apart from fast disbursement of payment, the app also ensures transparency as the payment is made directly to the bank account of the individual.
It also allows district and state officials to monitor ASHA performance and generate real-time payment status reports. All the details are made available on www.meghealth.in for anyone to check the details.
A forty-seven year old ASHA worker from Mowtyrshiah Village, West Jaintia Hills, Judis Shadap, recalls how long it would take her to get her payouts/incentives after submitting her application to the local ASHA facilitators.
Now, however, she relies on her daughter to assert her rights in the Asha Payment app. “I’m still unfamiliar with collecting payments through my phone, I still log all my tasks in a log, and my daughter helps me generate claims in the app,” she said.
Despite poor internet connectivity, Piulish R Marak, District Community Process Coordinator under NHM, Tura, said ASHAs have increased their requests for incentives through the app, realizing that the app provides several benefits to end users, including increasing their claims that they have realized they are getting paid sooner and more efficiently using the ASHA payment app. It also made them more aware of their eligibility for payment and the reasons for their ineligibility for payment.
Currently, payment to ASHA workers is made from the PHC level by consolidating incentive entitlements under different health programs under the National Health Mission and for all ASHAs under the National Health Mission. a particular PHC. The total amount is paid monthly, i.e. before the 30th of each month.
Using the app ensures accountability, efficiency, transparency and improves the system for effective ASHA performance tracking.