HC relief for contractual nurses

Cuttack: Odisha High Court has directed the government to immediately fill up all the vacant posts of staff nurses in all government hospitals, including that of the three teaching hospitals.

Disposing of a PIL filed by a social organisation Legal Support and Social Action (Lessa) – in July, a Division Bench of Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice B N Mohapatra n Monday asked the state government to fill up the vacant posts within eight weeks.

Over 500 posts of staff nurses are now lying vacant in government hospitals and the teaching hospitals of Cuttack, Berhampur and Burla.

The PIL was filed when contractual nurses of government hospitals in the state went on a ceasework stir demanding regularisation of services.

The PIL had urged the HC to call the strike illegal as basic health services in government hospitals were paralysed for the strike continued for 11 days in July.

Following HC intervention, normalcy was restored in the hospitals when nurses called off their strike.

The HC, which had earlier taken a sympathetic view over the cause of the striking nurses, also directed the state government not to precipitate further with regard to two FIRs filed against some striking nurses over a scuffle between them and an administrative officer of SCB Medical College and Hospital here.

The state government had earlier informed the court that a resolution has been made to regularise the services of contractual nurses who have completed six continuous years of services.

Taking cognisance of the government contention, the HC in its order delivered on Monday asked the government to act according to the resolution and fill up the vacant posts of nurses within eight weeks.