New Delhi: Private hospitals will have to pay a minimum salary of Rs 20,000 to nurses in the capital as the Delhi High Court on Monday asked the AAP government to implement, as early as possible, the apex court directions and recommendations of an expert panel regarding the wages and working conditions of nurses employed in private hospitals of the city.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued the direction to the Delhi government while hearing pleas by two nurse associations.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported about the recommendations of an expert committee constituted by the Ministry of Health and and Family welfare on the directions of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the matter that had submitted a report along with recommendations on salary and working conditions of nurses in private nursing homes/ hospitals. The panel, set up by the central government on the apex court’s direction, had recommended a minimum wage of Rs 20,000 for nurses working in establishments with less than 50 beds.
After deliberations and discussions, the committee made the following recommendations.
- Is case of more than 200 bedded hospitals, salary given to private nurses should be at par with the salary of state government nurses given in the concerned state/UT for their similar corresponding grade
- In case of more than 100 bedded hospitals, salary given to private nurses should not be more than 10% less in comparison of the salary of state government nurses given in the concerned state/UT of the similar corresponding grade
- In case of 50-100 bedded hospitals, salary given to private nurses should not be more than 25% less in comparison of the salary of the state government Nurses given in the concerned state/UT for similar corresponding grade
- Salary given to private nurses should not be less than Rs 20,000/- pm in any case even for <50 bedded hospital.
2. Working conditions:
- Working conditions viz leaves, working hours, medical facilities, transportation, accommodation, etc given to nurses should be at par with the benefits granted to state Government nurses working in the concerned state/UT.
3. Steps should be taken by all states/UTS for formulating legislation/ guidelines to be adapted for implementation of the above recommendations in case of nurses working in private hospital/ institutions.
With no implementation on the order, nursing associations knocked on the doors of the High Court . The associations demanded the implementation of the central government-appointed panel’s recommendations on the minimum wages and working conditions of nurses in private hospitals.
Delhi government’s additional standing counsel Sanjoy Ghose told the bench that in June last year, all the private hospitals and nursing homes in the national capital were directed to comply with the panel’s recommendations.
However, the Delhi government’s order was challenged by several private hospitals and associations representing them, who contended that paying the enhanced wages to the nurses would make their business “unviable”, Ghose told the high court.
The private hospitals told the bench that the Delhi government took the decision in this regard without consulting them.
After hearing all the sides, the court observed that nothing much was required to be done except implementing the apex court’s direction and the committee’s recommendations.
It then directed the Delhi government to do so “in accordance with law and policy as early as possible and practicable”.