Over the last couple of months, there has been quite a hue and cry in my homestate, Kerala about working conditions of nurses as well as the compensation packages being given in private hospitals. There has been violence in one of the well known superspeciality hosptials. Conditions in many of the private hospitals around the country are also not much different. I recently found out that it has affected one of the hospitals under my church.
I do have relatives who serve in the nursing services in private as well as government hospitals. One of my cousins who is a BSc Nurse, quite a smart chap and popular with patients gets a take home salary of about 6000 INR and works a 10-12 hour shift. Mr. Selvin who joined us about 6 months back also tells us about similar conditions in hospital he worked in before he joined us. He was getting about 5000 INR and living in a single room along with 4 of his colleagues.
I’ve been telling quite a number of my friends and relatives about the much superior working conditions and staying facilities that EHA units such as ours offers to nursing staff. I had been keeping myself away from putting this up for quite a long time till I discovered that the problems continue to remain in spite of umpteen number of agitations etc.
There is a dire need for qualified nurses and nurse leaders within the organisation. The major deterrent to people coming to organisations such as EHA is the remoteness of the places where most of our hospitals are. However, there are quite a lot of nursing staff from India who go all the way to t he Gulf, US or UK. And with the arrival of technology such as skype and faster travel, it is not that difficult to be in regular touch with relatives and friends.
One more major deterrent is the much needed experience that many of them need in super-speciality hospitals so as to make a career in countries abroad. However, I feel that this can be offered in few of our hospitals too.
Well, ultimately you may need to know how much we offer. I do not want to outrightly put it here, but what I need to tell you is that a newly joining ANM in EHA gets almost the same salary as that of a BSc Nurse in Kerala/Tamil Nadu.
And before I sign out, I need to put the fact that we are a bit choosy with selections as we need to ensure that prospective staff would be in line with the mission and vision of the organisation . . .
But for the bottomline, more than the superior working conditions or the better stay facilities, it is the opportunity to serve some of the most poor communities in the world and to become part of a movement that looks at transforming and strengthening such communities that drew me to join EHA. And of course, we pray that the Lord will give you a burden for such an effort and for joining institutions/organisations such as ours . . .