Nurses association claim acute shortage of nurses, seek govt intervention

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, May 18: The Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI), Arunachal Pradesh branch submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Pema Khandu, highlighting various issues concerning the nurses.
The association in its memorandum informed that there is acute shortage of nurses in the state in various cadres.
The nurses said that the numbers of existing nurses in all cadres are not as per the Indian Public Health Standard Norms/ Indian Nursing Council Norms (IPH/INC Norms).
They have appealed to the chief minister to look into the matter and take action at the earliest.
Speaking to reporters after submitting the memorandum, Trained Nurses Association of India- Arunachal Pradesh state branch secretary Techi Mepung appealed to the state government to address the issue raised by them at the earliest.
In its representation to the chief minister, chief secretary and the secretary health, the TNAI stated that for effective deliberation of health care services, rational deployment of human resource as per the Indian Public Standard Health Norms is imperative.
However, the nurses employed under the state health department are overburdened, with the existing nurses in all cadres are not as per the norms, it said.
The association informed that there are only 599 nursing officers against required number of 2630 in the state, while only 14 senior nursing officers are there against required 139 senior nursing officers.
Similarly, the association said that 29 assistant nursing superintendents (ANS) are required in the department, whereas there are only 13 ANS currently and the requirement for nursing superintendents is 26.
The association also demanded creation of four-cadre posts in hospital services.
Demanding allowance for all nurses, the association said that the allowances of nurses are yet to be increased as per the 7th Central Pay Commission.
“We are drawing pay allowances as per the 6th Central Pay Commission. The file was moved from the directorate but returned back without approval. Unlike non-practicing allowances of doctors, nursing allowances are not calculated as part of pay,” the TNAI state branch said.
The association further said that recruitment rules of existing nurses are yet to be amended since 1979-80.
It claimed that many changes have taken places over the last 30 years and the proposal was placed before administrative reforms and health at the secretariat in 2014 but it is yet to be cleared.
It further said that the department promotion committee (DPC) has been postponed since last two to three years, whereas it should be held every six months according to a government order.
The association also raised the issue of meager salary paid to contractual nurses in spite of their round the clock services. It demanded that the government enhance the salary to Rs 50000 from existing Rs 20000.
On being contacted, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar said that the government would look into the grievances in a time-bound manner.
Meanwhile, Nursing Deputy Director Kijum Karga informed the press that they have urged the state government to look into the issues concerning the nurses.
“The concerns raised by the TNAI state branch are genuine and will have to be addressed by the authorities. The Covid-19 crisis has further necessitated the need to fast-track these issues,” she said.
“The existing nurses have been divided for Covid and non-Covid duty. Though we do not have Covid-19 positive patients, people with symptoms are getting admitted and nurses have to take care of them. Others are working for contact tracing, and it is taking a toll on the nurses,” she said.
She further informed that with the ICU ward coming up in various hospitals, there is also the need for ICU-trained nurses.
“There is no dearth of qualified and trained nurses in the state. We are providing data to the government regarding nurses and the government will take a final decision,” she added.