Nurses at Apollo and Fortis Malar Hospital continued their strike for the fourth day on Monday. Hundreds of nurses did not report to work at the Greams Road Apollo Hospital. Instead, they gathered in the nearby ground inside police quarters, demanding a hike in their salary and better work benefits.
Significant among their demands are a minimum salary of Rs. 17,000 for a fresh entrant; providing two consecutive days off after night shift; improvement in the quality of food provided in staff canteen; purified water to the staff near the department; separate hostel for male nurses and improvement of hostel facilities for female nurses. They also want job descriptions made and followed according to Joint Commission International Association standards.
On Monday evening, the female nurses were denied entry into their hostel near the hospital. It was only after the police intervened that the hostel gates were opened to let in the nurses.
The striking nurses were not allowed to use the ATM machines inside the hospital premises. At the women's hostel in Teynampet, personnel from the hospital's Human Resources department demanded that the nurses hand over their identity card and uniforms. They were told that their termination orders were being issued.
Meanwhile, nurses in Madras Medical Mission have almost finalised an agreement with the hospital management. The nurses in Fortis Malar said as they had approached the District Labour Officer with their grievances, they had not returned to work. According to a statement issued by Apollo Hospitals, the hospital had augmented recruitment and would continue its services to patients. “A central leadership team is continuously monitoring the situation and evaluating patient care status 24x7. A team from the Human Resources department is working with the Labour Commissioner for an early conciliation towards recommencement of all medical services at the earliest,” the statement read. The Hospital has also stated that as the matter was before the Labour commissioner, the management would abide by the suggestions provided by him.