Work at Delhi government hospitals remained adversely affected as over 1,000 nurses here proceeded on an indefinite strike beginning this Friday demanding higher wages and better working conditions. Later in the day, Delhi government imposed ESMA on agitating nurses in hospitals run by it.
While Delhi Police detained some nurses from Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, the All India Govt. Nurses Federation’s G.K.Khurana said: “Nurses across India have joined this strike. My detention will not deter us. We strongly condemn the manner in which the Centre is treating its employees.”
She added that the Federation has been struggling for over nine months seeking a hike in the entry level pay scale.
“Also we want all our allowances to be multiplied by general multiplying factor 1.5 which has been applied for other cadres except nurses. The government says that doctors’ salary has been raised by 9 per cent but in actual sense according to 7th CPC report which has been notified their salary has been increased by 14.8 per cent. But we nurses are struggling since 5th CPC to get correct pay scale which we actually deserve. This is the pathetic conditions we nurses are living in,’’ she explained.
Nurses from all Central Govt. Hospitals, Delhi state Govt. Hospitals, All Uttar Pradesh state Hospitals, PGI Chandigarh, SGPGI Lucknow, ESIC Hospitals and Railway Hospitals across country are part of the protest.
Meanwhile in the city, nurses on protest were pushed and bundled into buses and take to Parliament Street police station. Nurses and radiologists in government hospitals across the country have called a strike over salaries at a time when the city is grappling with an ‘epidemic like’ rise in the number of cases of dengue and chikungunya.
Around 20,000 nurses work in government hospitals in Delhi. In the city, eight people have died of dengue and over 480 cases have been reported this season. More than 420 chikungunya cases have also been reported.