Chandigarh: As staff crunch ails GMCH-32, nurses seek filling of vacant posts
GMCH-32 is dealing with an acute shortage of nurses. Hospital has a total of 1,097 sanctioned posts for staff nurses. However, only 570 of the 1,097 sanctioned posts are filled by regular employees. As many as 30 nurses are on direct contract while 37 are outsourced
Amid a shortage of staff, the nurses at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, have requested the college principal-cum-director, Dr Jasbinder Kaur to recruit more staff and fill the vacant 182 nursing posts.
The GMCH-32, which is a medical school and a tertiary care hospital, is dealing with an acute shortage of nurses. After the Union government sanctioned 323 more nursing posts for the institution in December 2022, the hospital now has a total of 1,097 sanctioned posts for staff nurses, including nursing superintendents, deputy nursing superintendents, assistant nursing superintendents, nursing sisters and nursing officers.
However, only 570 of the 1,097 sanctioned posts are filled by regular employees. As many as 30 nurses are on direct contract while 37 are outsourced, taking the total number of filled posts to 637.
Dabkesh Kumar, president of the Nurses Welfare Association, GMCH-32, said, “Recently, 30 nurses on the direct contract had moved the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) court challenging the institute’s decision of sacking them. The direct contract employees want to get regularised among the 182 posts recently advertised by the hospital. The matter is still in court. However, the institute is not recruiting the 182 nurses despite the recruitment process being complete and letters having been issued to the selected candidates. The authorities are adamant to remove direct contract employees before hiring the new ones.”
The nursing union said that the employees and patient care are badly affected due to the staff shortage in the hospital.
“It is being observed that regular or contractual nurses of the GMCH-32 often resign due to unfavourable working conditions resulting in staff shortage. The working conditions are not favourable due to staff shortage, high turnover of patients and inequitable workforce distribution. To meet this shortfall, their leaves are not getting approved, including medical and childcare leaves. Though GMCH-32 staff are appointed by the central government (due to UT rules), our pay scale is based on Punjab rules, which are less compared to the pay scales of the central government. Also, there is no provision for promotion in the nursing cadre as only 40 out of the total sanctioned posts are eligible for the promotion. The regular nurses work for long hours on a limited salary but never get promotions,” said Kumar.
“Extra night duties are being imposed without any compensatory leave or financial compensation. Nursing officers are being assigned double or more wards,” he added.
“We request you to kindly fill the vacant 182 posts (except the number of posts of direct contractual pending with CAT with subject to decision) in a time-bound manner in the interest of patient care and justice for nursing professionals,” the nurses wrote in their letter to the GMCH-32 director.
Dr Kaur said, “The candidates were selected for 182 posts as per different cadre and hierarchy but if released before the court’s decision, it will be unfair for the candidates. The court’s judgment is expected soon and we will recruit staff as per the court’s decision.” She added that the process is on to fill the remaining 278 vacant seats.