P.T. Thomas, MP, has said that the Kerala government owes the responsibility of getting a Mumbai hospital to pay compensation to the kin of a nurse from Thodupuzha who committed suicide last week over alleged harassment at work.

He told presspersons in Thodupuzha on Monday that the government should take the initiative to book those responsible for the suicide. The victim had been from the economically backward section.

He said the issue should be an eye-opener that should lead to provision of social security to thousands of nurses working outside the State. Their pay scales should match those prevailing in other fields and their working hours should be fixed. In many hospitals, bonded labour prevailed, and this should be eliminated.

Mr. Thomas said the passage of a Bill in Parliament to eliminate such practices had met with problems, as the criteria for employment of nurses and their working environment differed in various States. Many nurses from Kerala worked in Mumbai, Delhi, and other metros, doing long hours at low pay. Since it was a federal system, the Kerala government should take the initiative to provide social security for nursing staff working in other States.

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