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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: More than 2,000 nursing staff working under different projects including the National Health Mission (NHM) today sat on a dharna for an indefinite period wearing black badges demanding regularisation of jobs.

The agitators have been asking for permanent employment for those who have worked for more than six years, hike in basic pay to Rs 9,300 and provision for a grade pay of Rs 4,600.

Pravati Mohanty, general secretary of the Odisha Nursing Employees' Association, said, "Though some of the striking nursing staff have worked for more than 10 years, they are yet to be regularised. We are protesting against the government apathy and demand that the Chief Minister should take an immediate action to address the issue."

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On the other hand, healthcare services were affected at hospitals in the State due to the strike.

Chittaranjan Das, director of Capital Hospital, said, "We had to mobilise some of the ICU nursing staff to the sick newborn care unit (SNCU) due to the strike. Total 82 nursing staff of the hospital are on strike."

"We hope that some steps will be taken in a day or two to end the deadlock," Das added.

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