Millennium Post

GTB's nursing orderlies living a precarious life

Hundreds of nursing orderlies working at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital are waiting for the payment of their due for last five months.

What is more worrisome is that these orderlies are getting less remuneration than what supposed to be paid on paper papers. These nursing orderlies, called lifesavers, work under the banner of Saint John Ambulance Foundation.

Recently, nursing orderlies went on a flash strike while, raising the demand for payment of their dues for the last several months. "After the intervention of the medical superintendent office and the assurance from the administration the strike had been called off," said an official.
"Following assurances from the senior hospital authorities, we resumed services at the hospital. But we have received only one-and-a-half month's salary instead of the several months' pending payments," said a nursing orderly at GTB Hospital.

The orderlies say that they have not received a single rupee since July 2016. The depressed orderlies blamed their contractor and supervisor for the problem, while the hospital administration pays no heed to their complaints.

Rajpal Yadav (name changed), a nursing orderly, said: "We have been told that our contract is over. We can leave the job as our job was just to do manav seva (Human Service).Moreover, we had earlier signed on blank papers and those signatures have created hurdles for us as the supervisor cites these signatures as proof of the end of our contract. This is how we have been cheated. Such issues can only happen with poor workers like us".

Yadav added that the total salary of a nursing orderly is around Rs 12,000 but they are only paid Rs 7,800.

The orderlies at GTB Hospital also said that it is the nexus between the hospital administration and contractor which is exploiting them and not paying them full remuneration.

"We are forced to accept only Rs 353 instead Rs 424 for a day. If any of the orderlies raise the issues, our supervisor threatened to terminate us with immediate effect," said Fahat Ali (name changed), another orderly.

Another nursing orderly said that there is a major fraud and no transparency in the system. She claimed: "We never shun work. We even do compounders' job, such as stitching injured patients, pack dead bodies and do all other nursing work. Now, they are suddenly denying payment of salaries and asking us to leave the job. Is this the way to treat loyal workers?"

A GTB Hospital official said that the hospital has nothing to do in this matter.

Millennium Post tried to contact the supervisor and contractor, but none of them was willing to comment on the issue. A nursing orderly's primary job comprises taking care of all patients in OPDs and wards. It also includes taking patients to the doctor on wheel chairs and stretchers and completion of documentation for admission. Presently, the hospital has very few permanent staff to provide these services.
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