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8-hour work, three shifts for Grade 'B', 'D' staff at Tamil Nadu govt hospitals, PHCs

These staff members have been complaining, submitting representations, and even filing a court case, noting that they were being forced to work for more than 12 hours

8-hour work, three shifts for Grade B, D staff at Tamil Nadu govt hospitals, PHCs

Representative Image (Thanthi tv)

CHENNAI: he grade D and grade B nursing assistants at Government Medical College Hospitals and Primary Health Centres in Tamil Nadu will henceforth work in eight-hour shifts to provide 24x7 coverage. The State Health Department order is expected to put an end to complaints of them being made to work for longer hours.

According to the government order (GO), the working hours have been divided into three shifts — 6 am to 2 pm, 1 pm to 9 pm and 8 pm to 6 am. While half of the staff members will work in the first shift, the remaining half will be split (25% each) for second and third shifts.

Seeking eight hours of duty, various grade D employee associations in the Health Department had filed a writ petition at the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court in August 2014.

The All Workers and Sanitary Workers’ Association petition stated that the grade D workers, including nurse assistants, sanitary workers, hospital staff, cooks, and operation theatre assistants, work more than 12 hours daily. They had requested the implementation of an 8-hour shift system.

Meanwhile, the PG medical students in the State have also been requesting 8-hour shifts, as long working hours impact their health. Despite the court issuing a verdict on the matter in 2015, it is not being implemented effectively, they rue. The Doctors’ Association for Social Equality secretary Dr GR Ravindranath also stated that the association had moved a petition in 2019 to implement 8-hour shifts.

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