News in MizoramAIZAWL, Aug 23: Hundreds of trained nurses took to the streets here today in a nationwide protest called by the Trained Nurses’ Association of India (TNAI) to press for fulfilment of an 11-point charter of demands. The Mizoram State branch of the TNAI submitted a memorandum to the State Government, demanding salaries and allowances for all trained nurses working under the State Government on a par with those working under the Central Government, filling up of vacancies, appointment of nurses in proportion to patients and discontinuation of recruitment of staff nurses on a contractual basis or on minimum salaries. 

“Wide and innumerable disparities of salaries of nurses in the States seem to be irrelevant and thus all States, including Mizoram, should follow Central Government pay and allowances of nurses for nurses recruited in the State,” the memorandum said. Demanding filling up of posts, the memorandum pointed out that there are 107 posts for staff nurses, 40 for ward superintendents, 11 for public health nurses, 116 for health workers, 106 for health supervisors and 20 for health community officers lying vacant under the State Government. Association leaders pointed out that trained nurses in private hospitals were paid paltry salaries, drawing Rs 250-350 per day.

The Mizoram unit of the TNAI had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court in 2011, seeking welfare of nurses by enhancing their salary structure and working conditions. The apex court issued a notice to the Centre and all the State governments in 2013, following which a committee was constituted under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2016 to study the pay structure and working conditions of nurses. The committee, based on information collected from the States, submitted a report in June 2016, pointing out glaring anomalies in the pay structure and pathetic working conditions of nurses across the country. The nurses’ leaders said the committee recommended that nurses working in a 200-bed private hospital should draw a salary on a par with that drawn by nurses under the State Government for a corresponding grade.

Working conditions such as leave, working hours, medical facilities, transportation and accommodation should be on a par with the benefits granted to State Government nurses working in the respective States and Union territories, they added. They said the Mizoram Government constituted an eight-member expert committee on October 28, 2016 to formulate guidelines for the benefit of nurses working in private hospitals and institutions, but the matter did not proceed further despite repeated appeals. -Assam Tribune

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