The Maharashtra government’s order to outsource the hiring of staff for 1,749 of the state’s 4,500 nurses has caused a stir. Nursing students have come forward to protest the injustice order. On Monday, the nurses stopped working from 7:30 am to 8:30 am in government medical colleges and hospitals. They plan to protest until the demands are met.
There are currently 4,500 vacancies for nurses under the Department of Medical Education and Research (DMER). Under the new order, 1,749 of these vacancies are to be filled by outsourcing nurses from a private agency.
The government nurses are against the decision and are coming forward to stop the alleged privatization of the hiring process. The protesting students allege that the private agency hires candidates who are willing to work for low wages and not give the job to the most deserving of people. Hiring by a private company can lead to exploitation of the nurses.
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Last month, a resolution was passed by the state government to allow the hiring of nurses on a contract basis through a private agency. The decision did not sit well with the nursing students and the Nursing Association and they decided to go for a nationwide protest. They have even threatened an indefinite strike from Saturday if the new order is not scrapped.
DMER has held a round of talks with the nursing association and appealed to them to call off the strike and ensure that permanent recruitment takes place soon. However, there is still no official statement about the withdrawal of the order by the DMER.
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Meanwhile, for admission into nursing degree programs, students also need to clear NEET. Previously, NEET was only compulsory for MBBS and BDS courses.
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