Wages of nurses in private sector; Kerala yet to enact law
New Delhi: Kerala has not yet implemented the report of the expert committee which was appointed by the supreme court to improve the wages of nurses in private hospitals. Prof. Jagdish Prasad Committee had recommended that the states should make a guideline or legislation in order to improve the wages of nurses.
Though the state government had issued a notification revising the wages of the hospital staff last year, Indian Professional Nurses Association opined that this does not confirm with the recommendations of Prof. Jagdish Prasad Committee.
The nurses in private sector in the state come under Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishment Act and Minimum Wages Act. These laws are applicable for all staff in the hospitals, except for doctors.
The supreme court directed the central government to form an expert committee based on the petition filed by Trained Nurses Association of India in 2016. The committee was formed and it submitted recommendations.
It recommended that the nurses in hospitals with less than 50 bed capacity should be paid Rs 20,000 per month. The nurses of a private hospital with more than 200 bed capacity should be paid an equal wage of nurses in government service.
In hospitals with bed capacity between 100-200, the wage of the nurses should not be reduced more than 10 percent compared to nurses in government sector, and the disparity should not be more than 25 percent in hospitals with 50-100 bed capacity.
The committee had directed all states and union territories to make legislation in this regard. However, Kerala has not taken any action yet. Meanwhile, states like Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab and Delhi have issued notifications in this regard.
Tamil Nadu, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya and Madhya Pradesh have formed committees to implement the recommendations. Arunachal Pradesh is proceeding with legislation to revise the wage of nurses.
The committee recommendations have been circulated in Tripura, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagarhaveli. The information was sought by Indian Professional Nurses Association joint secretary Siju Thomas by filing an RTI in the Union Ministry of Health.