PMCH nurses’ strike: Jharkhand minister orders action against outsourcing firms

A total of 416 outsourced health staff is on indefinite strike since September 2 demanding release of their two-month pending salary and bonus .

Updated: Sep 07, 2018 13:51:50

By Subhash Mishra

Officials talking to the striking nurses of PMCH in Dhanbad on Thursday, September 6, 2018. (HT Photo )

Jharkhand’s food and supply minister Saryu Rai on Thursday directed the officials of Patliputra Medical College Hospital (PMCH) and district administration to take action against the outsourcing companies as the ongoing strike by outsourced nurses has crippled the health services. It was the fourth day of the strike.

Rai, who reached PMCH for treatment in the afternoon, said he was shocked to see patients leaving the hospital due to the strike of nursing staff.

He then directed hospital superintendent Dr T Hembram and principal Dr Shailendra Singh to give notice to outsourcing companies. The officials swung into action to resolve the strike.

“If the staff do not join duty by 7am on Friday, black list the company and issue short-term tender for nursing staff,” the minister said.

The minister after taking stock of situation in hospital called striking nurses for talks but when they didn’t respond, he rang deputy commissioner A Dodde and senior superintendent of police, Manoj Ratan Chothe and asked to get striking nursing staff moved out of the hospital campus so that treatment of patients is not affected.

“On directive of minister, I have served 24- hours ultimatum to outsourcing companies to ensure presence of their staff by 7am on Friday. If they fail, their contract would be terminated,” said superintendent, Dr Hembram

A total of 416 outsourced health staff is on indefinite strike since September 2 demanding release of their two-month pending salary, bonus and payment as per agreement.

“They are not staff of government. If they have any complain they should gherao house of outsourcing company owner and not the hospital,” Rai said.

Tension prevailed on the hospital campus after SDM Raj Maheshwar arrived with heavy women police force for evacuating agitating nurses from the hospital.

However, SDM avoided the confrontation by holding tripartite meeting with nursing staff, outsourcing company official and PMCH superintendent.

A committee was formed under senior doctor Dr Ashutosh Kumar to resolve the crisis. SDM also directed outsourcing companies official to give in written when payment of staff would be made.

The striking nurses assured SDM they would resume duty after discussion among themselves.

Local manager of the outsourcing company, Umashankar Singh told the SDM that the company would immediately clear the bill of staff once government released the allotment pending since March 2017.

Owing to strike, more than three dozen patients of obstetrics, gynaecology and surgery ward left the hospital on Thursday.

First Published: Sep 07, 2018 13:32:49


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