Stipendiary staff nurses of hospitals under the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI), who have been on a war path with the government over the possibility of losing their jobs, are demanding a rollback of the job notification by the government.

The Medical Education Department issued a notification earlier this month calling for applications to fill the posts of 720 nurses, paramedics and laboratory technicians. The stipendiary nurses have been working for the past five to six years in the four hospitals — Victoria Hospital, Vani Vilas Hospital, Bowring Hospital and Minto Eye Hospital — coming under the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI). Members of the BMCRI Stipendiary Staff Nurses Welfare Association, who were on a relay fast on Saturday, placed their demands before the government at a press conference here on Sunday.

Veena K.V., a staff nurse at the Vani Vilas Hospital for the past five years, said, “I don’t want to take the test. I have saved so many lives. Is not that enough evidence about my capabilities? The hospital is dependent on us, so are all the departments. But still there is no value for us. We have no PF, ESI and maternity benefits.”

She also added that some of her colleagues developed weakness as they were suffering from health problems caused due to the relay fast.

The nurses, who have agitated in the past too seeking regularisation of their services, have been working for a monthly stipend of Rs. 7,000.

In response, O.S. Siddappa, dean and director, BMCRI, defended the job notification. “We are just following the Supreme Court judgment which says recruitment should be done after giving advertisements and notifications. Let them take the nursing exam conducted by the Karnataka Examinations Authority. Let them take the exam; if they have practised properly and they qualify, we will hire them,” he said.

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