HYDERABAD: In an overnight decision, touted as being insensitive towards Covid-19 warriors, more than 1,600 outsourced nurses working in various government hospitals across Hyderabad were terminated from service on Tuesday. These staff nurses, who had been recruited specifically for Covid-19 duties in March 2020, held a demonstration amidst heavy police bandobast at the Director of Medical Education’s (DME) office in Koti, demanding their reinstatement. Many of them were taken to the police station to control the agitation.
“We were given no notice about this decision and were just abruptly removed from service. Do they have no consideration that we joined duties at such a critical time and served Covid-19 patients selflessly, leaving behind our own families,” asked an agitating nurse. Many were miffed with not being considered for the 1,640 permanent job positions which they had temporarily filled in the pandemic year, recruitments for which are being done now.
The issue has its origin in a permanent recruitment order issued by Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) in 2017, when 1,640 positions for nurses were announced for permanent posts. However, with contractual staff in hospitals demanding an extra weightage in the recruitment, the issue went to the High Court for resolution and was only recently resolved. In 2020, the DME issued a GO to recruit these nurses on a temporary basis.
“These nurses were well aware of the fact that their posts are temporary. We can’t take some of them in as they were not in the system in 2017 and had not applied for the jobs. Some of them who had applied then have been taken in based on seniority,” said Dr Ramesh Reddy, DME. The DME told Express that they would propose to the government to provide the nurses a weightage for future recruitment drives. “Shortly, we will announce more positions for nurses in government medical colleges and nearly 4,500- 5,000 posts will come up,” he said.