The issue of minimum salaries for nurses in private and corporate hospitals was raised in the Lok Sabha when its members questioned the Ministry of Family Welfare about the implementation of minimum pay for nurses in different states, including Delhi.
Compared to nurses in government hospitals, those working in the private and corporate establishments are paid much less than a plumber or an electrician(if they were to be employed full-time). Due to poor working conditions and extremely low pay-scale, the Trained Nurses Association of India filed a petition with the Supreme Court in the year 2011. After much wait, the Supreme Court directed the Government of India to form an expert committee to give recommendations for improving the payscale for nurses in India. After much action over 6-7 years, the matter was now raised in the Lok Sabha a few days back. It was recommended that the minimum wage of Rs. 20,000/- per month needs to be given for any new nurse recruit.
It is rather shocking to see the salary divide between nurses in the public and private sectors, where those in the public sector are paid about Rs.60,000- Rs. 70,000 per month, along with perks such as accommodation, travel and other minor expenses. Whereas, nurses in the private sector make a meagre Rs. 12000 to a maximum of Rs. 15,000, all-inclusive, which is less than even unskilled labour.
Nurses are not just skilled but are professionals who form the backbone of the healthcare system, without whom the entire system will collapse. Can you imagine a scenario of a clinic or a hospital without nurses? Scary thought, isn’t it?