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International Nurses Day to be celebrated today

International Nurses Day to be celebrated today
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Nurses are described as jewels of healthcare sector. International Nurses Day is celebrated in a big way by the all hospitals on May 12 every year...

Khammam: Nurses are described as jewels of healthcare sector. International Nurses Day is celebrated in a big way by the all hospitals on May 12 every year with a view to create awareness among public about the role and responsibilities of nurses. Nurses are known as backbone of the hospitals, but it is just for a day.

There are numerous problems being faced by nurses in hospitals such as staff shortage. Work pressure on staff nurse is increasing. Nurses are working day and night, but they are paid meagre salaries compared to western countries.

Sreenivas, who heads the Rathnamma Swetchanda Seva Society, said despite shortage of nurses and other staff in government-run hospitals, the government is deliberately following a totally unscientific method of recruitment which keeps the majority of aspirants from getting a post in the government services and at the same time is recruiting nurses on a contract basis at extremely low wages.

Nurses in some private hospitals are facing ill-treatment in the districts. The nurses are force to sign on a bond that requires them to work in one or the other hospital for certain period. All their certificates are held by the hospital management, he added.

The Labour Department and the Supreme Court directed hospitals to pay minimum salary of Rs 20,000 a month, but many hospitals are paying Rs 8,000 a month. On an average, a nurse gets somewhere between on Rs 5,000 -10,000 a month and are forced to work up to 10 hours a day due to shortage nurse, it is said.

T Saraswathi, a nurse, who has been working in a private hospital in the Khammam city, said, “Hospitals have been exploiting us. They are not even paying the Rs 8,000 salary they agreed upon. We work for more than 10 hours, sometime an extra shift if someone is on leave, but they do not pay us as per the Labour Laws.”

The State governments have concentrated on improving healthcare for the past few years. The nurses urge the government to ensure that the private hospitals too pay minimum wages to them.

G Sreedhar, a faculty member of MSW (Master of Social Work), observed that the nurses have built an image of care providers over the few years and are struggling hard to keep up expectation. But still they did not get recognition both from hospitals and society. That is why not many are opting for the jobs.

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