Contract Nurses At Hyderabad’s Gandhi General Hospital On Indefinite Strike Amid Spike In COVID-19 Cases

By: Nandika Chand | Last Updated July 11, 2020

About 200 contract nurses at the Gandhi General Hospital in Hyderabad have gone on an indefinite strike. They are demanding regularization of their services and payment on par with newly recruited outsourcing nursing staff. Some nurses have voiced concerns that their salaries for the past few months is pending. They complained that they never receive salaries on time.

On Friday, the nurses submitted a letter to the director of medical education (DEM) Dr K Ramesh Reddy. They stated that a total of 200 staff were working since 2007 on a contract and were paid Rs 15,000 per month after deductions. They put forth their request to regularize their services.

One of the striking nurses, M Sarala said their personal lives have been tremendously affected. She said they are not able to pay their rents. “Our salaries are kept on hold for three to seven months and are never released on time. Our earnest sacrifices during this pandemic are going unnoticed and unrewarded,” the nurse said.

Megha Bellapurla, the president of outsourcing nursing staff association at Gandhi Hospital, said the nurses recruited recently are being paid Rs 25,000 to Rs 28,000. “We have been working for the last 13 years with a take-home salary of Rs 15,000,” she said. Bellapurla disclosed that the police detained about 80 nurses for sitting outside the DME’s office on Friday. She said the nurses were shifted to Amberpet and Sultanbazaar police stations.

The striking nurses are urging the government to look into their matter and issue a fresh order to absorb all contractual nurses to fill existing vacancies.

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