Twenty months after Delhi Government promised to compensate families of deceased government health employees, the nursing staff is compelled to protest the non-payment of this financial aid.
Earlier this week, the nursing staff across Delhi Government hospitals protested against the pending compensation from the Delhi Government. The staff at GTB hospital, Lok Nayak Jayaprakash hospital and other hospitals under the Delhi Government held peaceful protests on Monday and Tuesday, while they wore black armbands to symbolise their protest over pending compensation for their eight colleagues who died during Covid-19 duty.
A circular released by the Delhi Government on 13 May 2020 promised compensation of Rs 1 crore for the families of deceased government health employees like doctor, nurse, sanitation worker and others. However, according to Liladhar Ramchandani, Secretary General of the Delhi Nurses’ Federation, the Delhi Government has not released any such amount yet.
“We are protesting for the non-payment of this promised ex-gratia amount. Various nursing staff of the Lok Nayak Hospital have not received any money. Through this protest we want to voice our concern to the government. We wish that they release the promised amount at the earliest”, stated President Nursing Officers Association Tikkam Yadav.
The Delhi Nurses’ Federation (DNF) had written a letter to the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 20 January, which had the names of the nursing staff who lost their lives. Four out of the eight deceased worked at the Lok Nayak Hospital, and the latter four were employed at the DDU hospital, GB Pant hospital, GTB Hospital and Chief District Medical Officer of Delhi Health Services respectively.
The DNF ‘s letter said that it was “sad that even after a lapse of almost a year, the ex-gratia amount has not yet been paid to the nursing officers.”They demand for the pending amount to be paid within seven days, else they will be compelled to hold an agitation or start a non-cooperation movement. “We, therefore, demand that the compensation to the families of these eight persons be paid at the earliest”, the letter stated.
Ramchandani took to Twitter to post a video message wherein he appealed to the Delhi Government to release the compensation amount. He was seen with other nursing staff in the video. He added that these protests won’t affect patient care., However, he also warned that if the amount is not paid by 27 January, then the nursing staff would be forced to hold protests on the streets.