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Expert panel formed to address nurses’ grievances

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New Delhi: An expert committee has been constituted by the Union Health Ministry to address the grievances of nurses employed in private hospitals and nursing homes across the country.

The decision has been taken after the Supreme Court had recently asked the Centre to set up an expert panel within four weeks.

The committee will make its recommendations within six months from its constitution to the Centre, the Ministry said.

“In compliance with the Supreme Court’s judgement dated January 29 this year, it has been decided to constitute a committee to look into the grievances raised by the Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI) in respect of nurses who are working in private hospitals and nursing homes.”

The Director General Health Services (DGHS) has been named the chairman of the committee while the other members include joint secretary, Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010, secretary, TNAI, two members from private hospitals (Fortis, North Delhi and Narayana Health, Bangalore and Director (Nursing) of the Ministry amongst others.

The Union Health Ministry said that the terms of reference (ToR) of the committee include looking into the grievances raised by TNAI, to examine the factual situation, to see whether enactment of new legislation for regulating pay, perquisites and services conditions of nurses working in private hospitals and nursing homes is required.

It will also consider the fact that there are already many Acts such as Wages Act, Labour Act and Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010 and others to regulate wages and service conditions.

The committee will also make recommendations on the basis of which the state may formulate legislations to regulate pay and service conditions of the nurses, the Ministry said.

The PIL filed by the nurses’ body had alleged that various hospitals have been continuously violating the fundamental rights of nurses.

One of the PILs, filed by another nurses’ body, had alleged that nurses were also compelled to sign in vouchers for inflated amounts but paid very meagre amounts and exploited by private hospitals.

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