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India: Fresh crisis in some Gujarat hospitals, as nurses go on strike

Web report/Vadodara
Filed on May 19, 2021
AFP

Demands include hike in salaries, removal of nursing college students who were deployed in hospital


Hospitals in Vadodara and Surat, which are flooded with patients suffering from Covid, are facing a new crisis as more than 600 nurses in these two cities in Gujarat have gone on an indefinite strike, seeking resolution of multiple issues including wages.

In Vadodara, many of them protested outside the SSG hospital, demanding that students from a nursing college who were deployed in the hospital to replace them be withdrawn immediately. The hospital got student nurses to help manage the Covid facilities.

“They are trying to pit nursing students against nursing staff, which is not good,” said Sheetal Rajput of the Nursing Association Vadodara. “Unless they recall the nursing students, we will not resume duty. We have been working tirelessly since the outbreak of the pandemic, leaving our families behind. There is a valid reason why we are on strike.” The association is also demanding payment of stipend for the nursing students.

Nurses in Surat are also demanding a hike in salaries and remuneration. According to Surat Nursing Association, those in many other Indian states earn double than what they earn in Gujarat.

Dinesh Agrawal, one of the leaders, said the strike would continue if the government did not address their problems. But considering the ongoing Covid pandemic and the recent cyclone that hit Gujarat, the association has allowed 25 nurses to be kept on standby.





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