Education and medicine have become a lucrative business, the Delhi High Court remarked today while hearing a PIL alleging that nurses were being financially exploited in private hospitals and nursing homes in the city.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Centre and sought its stand on the plea which claimed that situation of nurses in private medical institutions has not improved despite a direction by the Supreme Court to protect their rights.
The Centre, represented by advocate Manik Dogra, told the court that the guidelines on salary and working conditions of the nurses have been framed and it was the duty of the individual states to implement them.
The bench observed that the petition “discloses exploitation of the nurses”. It said that “education and medicine are lucrative business now”.
It listed the matter for further hearing on October 8 with another similar plea.
The petition was moved by the Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI) alleging non-compliance of the apex court’s January 29 direction to the Centre to form a committee to make recommendations for improving working conditions and salary of nurses in private hospitals and nursing homes.
The plea, filed through advocate Romy Chacko, claims that nurses in private medical establishments were “working on meagre salaries and living in inhuman conditions”.
Apart from seeking compliance of the apex court’s direction and guidelines on better pay and working conditions, the plea has also sought a declaration from the court that nurses in private hospitals and nursing homes are entitled to same benefits and salary as their counterparts in government hospitals.