A day after the State Government gave nod to the demands of the private sector nurses who had been on strike for the past one month, leaders of the Indian Nurses Association (INA) said the victory is shared among all the nurses working in the country and the association will always be there to save the nursing community from any sort of exploitation. Hundreds of nurses working at various private hospitals in Kasargod and Kannur districts had been on strike since June 28 after the hospital managements declined to comply the Supreme Court (SC) order directing the State Governments to ensure a minimum of Rs 20,000 as monthly remuneration for a registered nurse working in the private hospital. With the association calling off the strike, the nurses have rejoined work at the respective hospitals on Friday.
The nurses have been facing severe exploitation by the hospital managements in various forms including meagre wages, unhygienic work environment and heavy workload. With the Government agreeing to the demands of the agitating nurses, Kerala has become the first State to implement the SC’s direction.
The nurses’ agitation in the State was spearheaded by the Indian Nurses Association which was formed in 2012. “This is a great achievement for all nurses and INA in particular. We have always been working for the welfare of each and every nurse and have been raising our concern regarding the wages, stipend and training in private hospitals. Most of the private hospitals in Kerala give training for newly-joined registered nurses for a period of around one year or more. The hospitals are totally on the wrong side in this matter. Nurses are skilled professionals just like an engineer or a doctor and it is unethical for the hospitals to train them for another year. The INA has always opposed this and will continue to fight against it,” said Mohammed Shihab E. A., state general secretary, INA.