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The Casualty Sisters

Below minimum wages, long, stressful hours, zero growth: it’s an accursed fate

The Casualty Sisters
On The Frontline | Photograph by Getty Images
The Casualty Sisters
outlookindia.com
2017-07-29T11:04:40+05:30

“When Dr Reddy was setting up Apollo, he assigned his most trusted nurse to be in charge of everything from floor planning of wards to scheduling surgeries, even designing the hospital logo.” These words from Evelyn P. Kannan, secretary general of the Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI), shine a torchbeam on how things could have been. Reality needs no contrastive illumination, though. Nurses are far from the ‘ministering angel’ nobility of lore. They form a decidedly lesser caste—disrespect from doctors, paramedics, pat­ients and even government is routine, the pay is abysmal, perks non-existent, and prospects of growth minimal.

“Nurses form the backbone of the medical profession, they’re indispensable. From taking care of the patient, adm­inistering medication, even doing administrative work,” says Kannan. “Yet, the government as well as private institutes treat our job as second class.” Add to this the fact that the profession is dominated by women—an ingrained layer of patriarchal bias in...

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