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Plea Before Delhi HC Seeks Action Against Hamdard Hospital For Terminating 84 Nurses [Read Petition]

Radhika Roy
23 July 2020 3:22 PM GMT
Plea Before Delhi HC Seeks Action Against Hamdard Hospital For Terminating 84 Nurses [Read Petition]
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A petition has been filed before the Delhi High Court seeking for appropriate action against HAH Centenary Hospital of Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (HIMSR) for terminating the service of 84 staff nurses for having raised concerns in the context of COVID-19. 

Filed by Advocate Subhash Chandran K.R., the plea states that HIMSR "terminated the service of 84 staff nurses, including the Petitioner herein in arbitrary manner in the unprecedented pandemic time. It is pertinent to mention that the decision to terminate the aforementioned 84 nurses is clearly a retaliatory move against the health care staffers for having raised legitimate concerns in the context of COVID-19".

The plea submits that the Petitioner and the other terminated nurses had raised demands for access to basic facilities like N-95 masks, sufficient numbers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), better working hours, drinking water, free COVID-19 tests, adequate quarantine facilities for health care staffers during COVID-19 duty.

Further, while discharging her duty, the Petitioner was infected with COVID-19. However, despite showing the symptoms, she had not been provided free testing by the Hospital administration.

The plea also challenges the July 11 termination order of the administration which states that the nurses were relieved because of "absence from office without sanctioned leave and absent without intimation". It is submitted that several of them had been on duty till July 11 and many others were in quarantine.

"The step taken by the hospital management to dismiss 84 nursing officers is arbitrary and clearly in violation of the Government directives. It is pertinent to mention that there are specific directives from both Central and State Government against termination of employees and reduction of wages during COVID-19 time", states the plea.

It is also submitted to the Court that the health and safety (mental/physical) of healthcare workers is of utmost importance at this juncture as shortage of the same would result in thousands of unattended COVID-19 patients, which would lead to the escalation of the present situation.

"It is admitted fact that our health infrastructure is dangerously outstretched, understaffed and under-resourced. This pandemic is dangerously devouring the life of the citizens of the country at the extraordinary rapidity with extraordinary fatalities."

In light of the above, the dismissal of the nurses in the midst of the pandemic, when health care staffers are needed urgently, the Hospital has committed flagrant violations of both, the norms laid down by the Government, as well as the contract between the nurses and HIMSR.

Therefore, the instant petition has been filed, seeking for appropriate action to be taken against HIMSR for the unlawful termination of 84 nurse staffers in the midst of a pandemic.
[Read Petition]

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