Bengal nurses oppose contractual posts

COVID-19 Health

Prefer permanent jobs to higher pay for 2 months

Kolkata: Registered nurses and para-medical staff of West Bengal who are waiting for permanent government jobs are unhappy with the state government’s decision to hire them on a contract basis for two months. 

Manisha Samanta, a staff nurse at R.N. Tagore Hospital, a private hospital in Kolkata, questioned the concept of contractual recruitment. “The government should recruit us on a permanent basis. My present salary is similar to the proposed one. Why should I quit my job for a two-month contract?” she informed The Observer.

In a recent order, the West Bengal health ministry decided to recruit registered nurses and para-medical staff on a contract basis for two months to help it tackle the surge of Covid-19 cases.

All these contractual posts are dedicated to the state’s Covid hospitals. Both nurses and technicians will be paid Rs 17,220 a month. The charge of the recruitment process is given to the chief medical officer of health (CMOH) of every district.

Sourav Dutta passed out of Bankura’s Sammilani Medical College in 2018. Presently, he is working at Seba Niketan at a monthly salary of Rs 8,000. But he is unwilling to apply for a contractual post that will get him a higher salary. “There will be no security after two months,” he said.

Swagata Ghosh, a staff nurse at RN Tagore Hospital, said: “Almost all pass-out students are working in private hospitals. Why should we join contractual posts?” 

Some registered nurses and technicians have started a campaign on Twitter. They have tagged chief minister Mamata Banerjee demanded permanent recruitment in government hospitals.   

Pinky Ghosh, a staff nurse at Pandey Nursing Home, a private hospital at Chandannagar, said: “In February this year, the government declared to recruit for permanent posts. But it postponed that.” 

Dr Prakash Mridha, CMOH of Jhargram district, said: “We have opened a portal for applications. Once applications are submitted, we will publish a list based on their marks.” There will be no interviews during the pandemic. But he did not respond when The Observer asked him about the proposed contractual recruitment.

Owing to the second wave of Covid-19, cases are surging in the state. A couple of weeks ago, the chief minister announced that her government would increase 10,000 beds in hospitals to tackle the situation.

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