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Kochi: Labour Department Raids Amrita Hospital

Kochi: Labour Department Raids Amrita Hospital

Kochi: A leading hospital in the country was recently seen in a war of words with the labor department, after the labour department recently performed a surprise inspection at the hospital. While the labour department found various discrepancies related to minimum wage and leaves, asking the hospital to rectify the discrepancies, the hospital said that the department exceeded their jurisdiction, not informing the hospital authorities about the inspection and then by threatening to inform and call the print and visual media.

TOI reports the Labour department officials conducted surprise inspection at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) on Tuesday and found gross violations of labour laws at the hospital. The inspection happened after the department allegedly received complaints that the hospital was not paying minimum wages to its Amrita Seva Kendra (ASK) workers who work at the posts of cleaners, attendants and patient aids It was also alleged that that their remuneration ranged between  between Rs 5,000 and Rs 8000, whereas the minimum wages that  they should be paid lies anything between Rs 10,000 and Rs 12,000.

The Labour department officials during the inspection met  around 300 staff in all the departments and concluded that many employees were not getting minimum wages and overtime wages. Other deficiencies pointed out the by department included, retaining the certificates of pharmacy staff and not giving them  adequate leaves. The department also issued a stop work memo after noting that there was not enough safety measures undertaken at the under construction hostel building. The department then gave the hospital 2 weeks notice to the hospital to rectify the discrepancies, failing which action with be initiated.

Hospital’s Response

One day after the inspection, the hospital released a statement, providing a pointed rebuttal to the “observations” of the labor department, while also adding that the officials “exceeded their jurisdiction by threatening to inform and call the print and visual media.

“We believe the statutory authorities exceeded their jurisdiction by threatening to inform and call the print and visual media. No clarifications have been sought from the hospital, leading us to make a statement to the media and clear any misperception that may have arisen”

The note went on to add that, they  (hospital authorities) fully comply with the provisions of Labour legislations “without any default”. For the discrepancies so pointed, the hospital replied

  • Response on ASK Workers- Since the hospital is managed by Mata Amritanandamayi Math, there are many volunteers at Amrita Hospital who serve in various departments like cleaning and house-keeping, projects and pharmacy for their own individual satisfaction, without expecting any monetary benefit in return. These volunteers, mainly deputed by the Math, are not the employees of Amrita Hospital. They report to the Math for doing sewa (social service). They are provided free accommodation and food. These volunteers do not receive any salary from the hospital, but only a small allowance towards reimbursement of their expenses.
  • Response on Pharmacy – they also appoint some qualified but inexperienced students straight from the pharmacy college as trainees. Handling medicines is a great responsibility, so these students are treated as trainees from six months to one year based on their qualifications.

The hospital also stated that the officials at Amrita Hospital authorities didn’t receive any inspection note from the Labour Commission. “The officials began their inspection without notifying the hospital officials or its human resource department. They directly entered the ward, the pharmacy, and other restricted areas of the hospital without any intimation,” said R Ranganathan, Additional General Manager (Human Resource Department), AIMS said to the press.

Source: with inputs
4 comment(s) on Kochi: Labour Department Raids Amrita Hospital

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  1. What I understand is that there are some good medical and surgical departments in this hospital. But there are allegations of very low pay for the workers, nurses etc. Then they are allegations that the capitation fee is heavy for the medical and PG admissions.
    It will take a thorough investigation by all the related agencies without any political interference to bring the truth out.

  2. user
    K thomas Bose. M.d. June 19, 2017, 7:07 am

    It is indeed a sad situation, where laborers are underpaid and Drs are overfed. Medical seats are auctioned of for thr highest bidder. Bribes are handled, students are yet
    Stead till Th right ones are in,,, and more shenanigans.
    No qualified teachers are available.. No good research positions. essentially a third grade system which make us older graduates and well known prrofessors,sick. There are dozens of ministers and other officials sitting high up ,doing nothing about it.

  3. a classic case of the kettle calling the pot black. this is being done in ALL MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. the nursing colleges, the medical colleges and the DNB training are all exampples of this.
    get real. WE ARE A FEUDAL SOCIETY AND WE SQUEEZE BLOOD OUT OF THE LEAST COMPLAINING. and who does not complain——–the student or shishya, the volunteer who is a forced volunteer (eg JR in dental departments, SR in surgical specialties, etc)
    they call the hospitals research and teaching institutions. both cannot be done together. the trainees are forced labour. the so called research is a sham. HOW MUCH OF PATH BREAKING RESEARCH HAS COME OUT OF PREMIER INSTITUTES (say AIIMS ,etc. ) in last 70 years? Any NOBEL PRIZES???? Any commendable mentions in international comity????How many patents???? It is all you scratch my back and I will scratch yours.
    The biggest SCAM IN MEDICAL EDUCATION IS THE ENTRANCE EXAM AND THE SENIOR RESIDENCY SYSTEM. There WILL BE NO ORIGINAL RESEARCH POSSIBLE TILL THESE SHACKLES ARE REMOVED. We produce good doctors in India due to the good input material. The process is rotten. Good doctors are not because of the Med education system, they are inspite of it. We did a study recently and found that 84% professors, 68% associate/Asst professors and 80% senior residents did not know how to paint a patient before venepuncture!!!!!! This is a basic question in MLE.
    10-12k is unskilled labour in non-hazardous occupations. hospitals with the flagrant biomedical waste violations are hazardous places

  4. user
    Krishnamoorthy June 18, 2017, 12:09 pm

    \”threatening to inform and call the print and visual media\”? Why should media be involved in this? Is it not to bring public sentiment into so-called spiritual institute? and claim immunity and sympathy as well?