After 28 days of indefinite strike by 266 contractual nurses at the Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC), some of the nursing staff went on a hunger strike on Monday. On November 20, the central government institute handed over termination letters to 36 of its contractual nursing staff without any prior warning, causing anger among other staff. The indefinite strike has reduced the total nursing strength to half as there are only 270 permanent nurses, thus affecting patient care at the hospital.”I brought my daughter here for treatment but was sent outside as the doctors told me that there is no nursing staff,” said Samima Afroz, who had to stand outside the hospital holding an IV bottle as her daughter sat on the ground.None of the contract staff have received salaries for the last four months. On November 20, 36 of them were terminated on the basis that an equal number of permanent candidates had joined. After continued protests and letters to ministers, the staff members received salaries but their jobs are still at risk.”Our agreement letters clearly stated that the hospital cannot terminate us without a month’s notice. This action was really unexpected,” said Sandeep Yadav, 28, one of the contractual nursing officers.”We will continue this hunger strike until our death if they do not reinstate the terminated employees,” he added.
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