CHENNAI: Health Minister Ma Subramanian on Monday said that the nurses who served in the government hospitals during the pandemic and their contract ended now, will be appointed in Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam scheme and in Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC). Appointments would also be made by the district collectors of each district for National Health Mission, he said.
He said that 2,345 nurses applied for selection through Medical Recruitment Board for the government jobs and 2,323 selected candidates joined the work immediately. In the month of April 2020, 5,736 nurses were called for interview and 2,366 people were selected without adhering to any norms of certificate verification by the then government citing COVID-19 as the reason. As per the High Court, those who were appointed against the rules should not be retained in the service.
"But since the nurses have worked during the pandemic and served the State, Chief Minister did not want to terminate them and 2,700 vacant posts of nurses in the health department will be filled in at the newly started hospitals and health centers and 270 posts of nurses will be filled by the district officials," said Ma Subramanian. He assured that steps will be taken to appoint these 2,301 people who have been appointed against the norms by filling up these vacancies. Their salary will be increased from Rs.14,000 to Rs.18,000.
Responding to the criticism of the government by opposition leaders, health minister said that it is is a funny thing that the problem is because of the previous government not following the regulations and they are themselves criticising the move. He said that demand of nurses is that they should be made permanent but this is unlikely because all the appointments made by the National Health Mission are temporary posts.
All permanent posts will be filled through MRB. However on humanitarian grounds as per the instructions of Chief Minister, when recruiting nurses for the medical department, we will consider them, the minister said. He announced that during the Chief Minister's visit to Delhi, he has visited Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics and Tamil Nadu will start such clinics soon. "We will be recruiting one doctor, one nurse, one helper and a health Inspector, they will be accommodated for Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam and other schemes too. Currently, MRB is conducting test for 4,308 posts" he said.
Subramanian further announced that during the Chief Minister’s visit to Delhi, he has visited Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics and Tamil Nadu will start such clinics soon. “We will be recruiting one doctor, one nurse, one helper and a health inspector, they will be accommodated in Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam and other schemes too. Currently, MRB is conducting test for 4,308 posts.
Discriminatory react nurses
However, the nurses appointed during the pandemic say that the batches before them and even the recent ones, who were appointed on contractual basis have been made permanent. They said that the government’s announcement is not justified and this is discrimination. The nurses insist to be made permanent employees and not temporary staff at PHCs or other schemes. They say that they didn’t get paid for the past 6 months and the announcement is unacceptable.