?Orphaned? male nurses a disappearing tribe | india | Hindustan Times
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?Orphaned? male nurses a disappearing tribe

THEY ARE the few men in a women dominated profession and have been facing the down side of role reversal they volunteered for almost 25 years ago.

india Updated: May 12, 2006 15:14 IST

THEY ARE the few men in a women dominated profession and have been facing the down side of role reversal they volunteered for almost 25 years ago.

While the world observes `International Nurses Day’ on May 12, a few `Male Nurses’ in Madhya Pradesh are still running from pillar to post for their rights and this struggle is now gradually waning out. 

About two-dozen male nurses are working in hospitals of the police department and there are almost no male nurses in Government service in Madhya Pradesh. These men, however, claim they have been denied several of their rights, including rank and attached perks and benefits, since 1981 – the year they were appointed as male nurse in police hospitals across the State.

The men were originally inducted in the police department as constables and later on volunteered to become male nurses. Initially, about 125 constables were taken in as male nurses on the basis of their qualifications. Only about 25 of them are still in service, as recruitments of male nurses have been discontinued over the last several years now.

Some of the disgruntled male nurses, on the basis of anonymity, told Hindustan Times today that though their pay had come at par with that of a police sub-inspector and subedar, yet they were still not awarded equivalent rank along with accruing benefits and perks.

“Since we have not been awarded our due ranks, we do not get perks and benefits we are otherwise entitled to,” said one of the men. He added the male nurses had to perform all duties that police personnel performed but they did not get the benefits that cops got.

“We are also engaged in extra duty whenever the need arises but, while the regular cops are compensated for that, we are not,” he rued.

The male nurses also lament the fact that they are left out - almost like orphans-  with neither the police department nor the health department acknowledging its responsibility to ensure payment of perks and benefits to them. 

“We still do not know which department we belong to and that makes things even worse,” the nurses maintained. For many years now, male nurses have been making continuous representations for their cause to the present and former DGPs, Home Secretaries, and ministers of Health and Home departments but to no avail. 

“We are always given a curt reply that no benefits and perks can be granted to us, as we have not been awarded the corresponding rank,” the men alleged.

On November 18, 2002 a question was even raised in the State Assembly about the non-payment of perks and benefits to male nurses in police hospitals. MLA Brij Bihari Pateriya had put the question to then Health Minister Mahendra Boudh.

In his reply, Boudh had said the issue was being looked into. But so far there had not been any positive development on the front despite repeated representations by the discontented male nurses.