The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (Nursing Section) Government of India in compliance with Supreme Court direction dated 29.1.2016 by its communication dated 26th September, 2016 has instructed the States and Union Territories to frame laws to ensure that nurses employed in private hospitals and nursing homes to enjoy working conditions on a part with government nurses. The Trained Nurses Association of India, which represents over three lakh private nurses, moved the Supreme Court in 2011 highlighting the exploitation suffered by nurses in the private sector.
The Committee led by Dr. (Prof.) Jagdish Prasad, Director -General of Health Services, prepared the report after collecting information from various States. It has found that “adequate salary and basic facilities are not provided to nurses in private hospitals and nursing homes”.
The Chief Secretaries of all the States and Union Territories on September 20, 2016 have been asked by the Union Ministry to formulate the legislation and report back by October 20, 2016. The Centre wants the new law to ensure that nurses working in private hospitals with over 200 beds should be given a salary on par with that drawn by State Government nurses of the corresponding grade. In private hospitals with more than 100 beds, nurses should be paid a salary not less than 10 per cent in comparison of the salary of State government nurses of similar grade. In case of private hospitals with number of beds ranging between 50 and 100, the salary of nurses should not be less than 25 per cent of that drawn by government nurses of the same grade. The salary given to private nurses should not be less than Rs.20,000 per month in any case even for nurses working with hospitals with less than 50 beds. Also, the working hours, medical facilities, transportation, accommodation and other benefits given to private nurses would be on a part with government nurses.