| Contractual nurses stage a demonstration at MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur. Picture by Gopal Krishna Reddy |
Berhampur, May 13: Nearly 300 contractual nurses of MKCG Medical College and Hospital here are agitating in protest against the state government’s “apathetic attitude” towards them.
“We have been wearing black headgear since May 12. We sat on a dharna in front of the outdoor patients’ department for two hours on both yesterday and today. We will also go to Bhubaneswar along with 2,200 contractual nurses on Monday. We will go on mass leave on tomorrow to gherao the residence of the state health minister to fulfil our demands,” said Pranati Mohanta, vice-president of the Contractual Nurses Association of the MKCG Medical College and Hospital.
“The health department must initiate urgent steps to regularise the contractual nurses who have been working under distress and dissolve the appointment of contractual nurses. There is disparity in the salary of the nurses and we demand our basic pay should be Rs 9,300 instead of the present consolidated pay of Rs 5,200 per month. The government must give us salary and grade pay of Rs 4,600 on par with the diploma engineers and the nurses in other states. It should be worked out with effect from the implementation of the sixth pay commission,” she said.
She further alleged that they were getting their consolidated pay during the latter half of every month. “The state government had declared a special allowance of Rs 1,500 per month for the contractual nurses apart from their contractual salaries. But only 25 per cent of the contractual nurses here are enjoying the facility. The authorities are providing a special allowance of Rs 1,500 per month only to those contractual nurses who have had joined before 2009,” said Pranati Mohanta. She further said most of the contractual nurses at MKCG Medical College and Hospital here were residing in rented house and there were no hostel facilities for them. They demand grade pay of Rs 4,600 along with hostel and quarter facilities.
The number of beds in the hospital in all the departments increased to 1,081 from 881 recently to fulfil Indian Medical Council (IMC)guidelines.
Contractual nurses took out a procession on the MKCG campus yesterday and raised various slogans to fulfil their demands.However, superintendent of the hospital Ashok Kumar Behera said that the contractual nurses had agreed with the terms and conditions of the government before their appointment.
“We are now having both regular and student nurses in the hospital. We will see that health service is not hampered in the hospital,” he said.