Referred to as the backbone of healthcare services, nurses for long are fighting for respect, wages and equal treatment. The situation is no better at central India’s biggest government hospital, the MY Hospital.
From being assigned dilapidated quarters to being meted with second class treatment at the hands of the administration, the nurses attached with the hospital have even been kept out of the ambitious Kayakalp plan of the government too.
"It is such a big plan and we do not feature anywhere, why is it so? The administration has told us that our living quarters will be dismantled and something would be built here. But where will we be shifted nobody knows," said Sujata Rathore, a nurse.
No security on hospital campus
Required to reach the hospital at odd hours often, a female nurse says: "We have been put up at the campus so that if a major accident or trauma case comes in, we can provide extra support. But there is no security inside the campus. So many theft and eve-teasing cases have occurred. After sunset, a male member of our family has to accompany us as the campus is open for all."
The one to break news of a patient’s death, nurses also have to deal with a volley of abuses and assaults from patient’s attendants almost regularly.
"We work endlessly and yet struggle for respect. The situation becomes even more difficult when we do not have any security provisions. Anybody can walk in and assault a nurse and the issue will never be highlighted," said Vandana Choudhary, who has been working in the hospital for more than 14 years.
No crèche facility
To add to their woes is the absence of crèche facility on campus. The hospital, which has a flow of 1,000 nurses of whom 800 are female, does not have a proper place where nurses can drop their children before coming to work.
Delayed payments and lesser increments are other irritants faced by many, specially the newly recruits.
“The situation is extremely bad. Senior nurses are still better paid and receive increments on time. For juniors it is a chaos. This also decreases the compassion of nurses towards patients,” said Choudhary.