Mumbai: Over 500 nurses gathered at Azad Maidan on Friday to continue their strike against the government’s decision to outsource vacant posts across the state.
More than 10,000 nurses, who registered with the Maharashtra State Nursing Association, have remained off duty, hitting medical services adversely across the state.
Hemlata Gajbe, a nurse from the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), said, “We will be on strike till our demands are not met. We don’t want any outsourcing in our profession; vacancies have not been completely filled and we are low on manpower. Further, promotions of a number of nurses are pending, and though the hospitals have opened new departments, they have not created any new posts nor recruited anyone in five years.”
“We do not get any nursing allowances as well and the student nurses are paid a stipend of meagre Rs 300 per month even after working hard,” said another nurse.
Recalling the tough times during the pandemic, she added, “Although the nurses were understaffed, they discharged their duties round the clock risking their lives. We have been pursuing the issue of vacancies for three to four years but nothing has been done. We have been requesting the authorities concerned to at least fill the vacant posts as per the norms.” She said they spoke to the commissioner, but it has not yielded anything except for assurance.
Hundreds of surgeries are being postponed and medical emergencies are hampered due to the strike affecting the overall health and wellness of the citizens of the state.