Bhubaneswar: Demanding a written assurance from the government to fulfil their demands, agitating contractual staff nurses continued with their strike today leaving healthcare services in various hospitals across Odisha severely affected.
Around 2000 nurses from different government-run hospitals, who were appointed under the National Health Mission (NHM), staged demonstration near Lower PMG Square here for the fourth consecutive day demanding regularization of their jobs.
A meeting between Health Minister and some agitating nurses to end the stir seemed turned futile as the contractual nurses were unhappy with the outcome of the meeting.
“We will call off our strike as soon as the minister can give us a written letter mentioning within how many days the government will regularize our jobs,” said All Odisha Nursing Employees Association General Secretary Pravati Mohanty.
Health Minister Pratap Jena, however, said the government is aware about the issue but it can only be solved after discussion with other departments.
“It’s not only in the hands of health department, a decision to regularise the services of nurses can only be taken only after a consultation with general administration and finance department,” Jena told reporters by adding the government is seriously looking into their demands.
Meanwhile, healthcare services were hit in Cuttack’s SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, VSS Medical College and Hospital in Burla and MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur as hundreds of nurses staged dharna before the office of the hospital superintendant.
The agitating nurses are demanding for permanent employment for those who have worked for more than six years, hike in basic pay to Rs 9,300 and provision for a grade pay of Rs 4,600.
At present, NHM staff nurses get monthly remuneration of Rs 10,700 while regular government staff nurses get between Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 including dearness, house rent and uniform allowances depending on their seniority.