The nurses working in state-run medical colleges, barring six, will continue to wear reddish reddish brown uniforms as the Bombay high court recently restrained the State Medical Education Department from allowing the traditional white uniforms for nurses working in 16 state-run medical colleges.
Four of the six colleges that have not changed to the reddish brown uniforms are from Mumbai. These include Sir JJ Group of Hospitals, Grant Medical College, Cama and Albless Hospital and St George Hospital.
The order came following a petition filed by the Maharashtra Government Nursing Federation challenging a circular issued by the medical education department on February 28, 2011.
The circular also directed department heads to initiate proceedings against nurses that did not comply with the decision. The federation contended that the circular was issued without considering the fact that nearly 80% nurses working in government institutions have been wearing the reddish brown uniform for the last six years and the decision was taken to favour some matrons and superintendents from the Mumbai-based state medical colleges.
In April 1996, the federation sought a change from the traditional uniform – white frock, white cap and a belt -- to reddish brown salwar kurta. After discussions at various levels, in August 2004, the government decided to change uniform for nurses working in more than 300 government hospitals and 16 state-run medical colleges.
Consequently, an association of nurses attached to the JJ Hospital moved the high court opposing the change in uniform.
As on today, all 9,500 nurses working in government hospitals and state-run medical colleges barring the exception of four colleges in Mumbai and one college each at Sangli and Miraj, wear the reddish brown uniform.
Meanwhile, 400 nurses from the four city colleges that haven’t changed uniform went on strike on Tuesday. No change in uniform was one of their 31 demands.