Outsourced nurses seek extension of job contract

They had been recruited for a period of one year ending Match 30 this year

The usually serene Telangana Health Campus, Koti, witnessed heavy activity on Tuesday as a large number of nurses recruited on outsourcing basis gathered there demanding that their services be extended. The nurses said that they have performed duties at government hospitals right from the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and wanted their job contract to be extended for a few more years.

When there were delays in recruiting regular staff nurses, a government order (GO) was issued on March 21 last year permitting Director of Medical Education (DME) to recruit 1,640 staff nurses on outsourcing basis for various tertiary care hospitals for a period of one year — from April 1, 2020, to March 30 of this year.

However, the nurses claimed that the recruitment advertisement was for contract nurses but they were given outsourced job.

With the demand to extend their services, the nurses reached in large numbers to stage protest and sought to meet DME K. Ramesh Reddy. The immediate perimeter of the DME building on the Health Campus was filled with police personnel who sent away the nurses. Around five of them were permitted to meet the superintendent. The police personnel stayed put even two hours after the nurses left.

“When our term ended in March, an extension till end of June was provided. However, on Tuesday, we were asked not to report to duties at Gandhi Hospital and Government ENT Hospital from Wednesday. This is abrupt notice. Where are we supposed to go and work now,” asked a staff nurse who was present at the health campus in Koti.

The nurses said they quit jobs in private hospitals which were paying ₹50,000 to ₹70,000 a month during the first wave and joined the job at government hospitals for ₹25,000 salary since they hoped the job at government would be regularised in future.

“Many of us and our family members got COVID. My father died. We gave a lot to our jobs at government hospitals. We want our job contract to be extended,” demanded another nurse who broke down and requested anonymity.

Senior officials from the Health department said as per the GO, the period of their job ended in March this year. “But it was extended owing to the COVID situation. The regular staff nurses have been recruited now,” said the senior official.

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