HC asks Delhi govt. to implement apex court order on nurses’ wages

Nurse bodies want implementation of expert panel’s suggestions

July 23, 2019 01:37 am | Updated 01:37 am IST - New Delhi

NEW DELHI, 24/01/2018: A view of Delhi High Court, in New Delhi on January 24, 2018.  
Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

NEW DELHI, 24/01/2018: A view of Delhi High Court, in New Delhi on January 24, 2018. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the city government to implement the Supreme Court directions and recommendations of an expert panel regarding the wages and working conditions of nurses employed in private hospitals of the Capital.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar issued the direction to the Delhi government while hearing pleas by two nurse associations.

The associations demanded the implementation of the Central government-appointed panel’s recommendations on the minimum wages and working conditions of nurses in private hospitals.

Minimum wage

The panel, set up by the Central government on the apex court’s direction, had recommended a minimum wage of ₹20,000 for nurses working in establishments with less than 50 beds.

It had also suggested that their working conditions, like leave, working hours, medical facilities, transportation and accommodation, should be on par with the nurses working in government hospitals.

Delhi government’s additional standing counsel Sanjoy Ghose said that in June last year, all the private hospitals and nursing homes in the national capital were directed to comply with the panel’s recommendations.

However, the Delhi government’s order was challenged by several private hospitals and associations representing them, who contended that paying the enhanced wages to the nurses would make their business “unviable”.

Without consultation

The private hospitals had told the Bench that the Delhi government took the decision in this regard without consulting them.

The Bench observed that nothing much was required to be done except implement the apex court’s direction and the committee’s recommendations.

It then directed the Delhi government to do so “in accordance with law and policy as early as possible and practicable”.

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