Maharashtra state-run hospitals' nurses, who were on an indefinite strike since May 28, have suspended their agitation following an assurance by the government to address their demands by July 15, a nursing association said on Wednesday.
They had been protesting against the government's decision to recruit nurses through a private contractor. The Maharashtra State Nursing Association (MSNA) had claimed the move will make nurses vulnerable to exploitation with regard to their working hours and remuneration.
The nurses had also gone protested on May 26 and 27, and threatened further agitation if their demands were not met. Maharashtra's Medical Education Minister Amit Deshmukh on Wednesday met the protesting nurses. “The discussion was positive and after a written assurance to address the demands by July 15, we have decided to postpone our agitation,” the MSNA said.
More than 15,000 nurses from state-run hospitals, including those in Mumbai, had gone on the strike, she said. Nearly 1,500 nurses participated in the strike in Mumbai, thus putting pressure on the health infrastructure. Some hospitals were forced to curtail the number of planned surgeries due to the strike.
The MSNA has also asked for nursing and education allowances. The Centre and some states pay a nursing allowance of Rs 7,200. The benefit should be extended to nurses in Maharashtra too, the MSNA said.
(With PTI inputs)