Contracts of 42 Nipah heroes terminated at Kozhikode Medical College

Contracts of 42 Nipah heroes terminated at Kozhikode Medical College
Though health minister K K Shylaja had promised to check whether these employees could be made permanent staff, nothing turned out in their favour.
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Kozhikode: Forty two temporary employees at the Government Medical College Hospital here, who displayed exemplary courage during the onslaught of the Nipah virus, have been asked to leave.

The temporary employees were specially recruited in the absence of regular staff.

Though health minister K K Shylaja had promised to check whether these employees could be made permanent staff, nothing turned out in their favour.

Medical college superintendent Dr Sajeeth Kumar said that the contract was for 89 days starting from May.

Considering their service during the Nipah period at the hospital, it was extended for another 89 days.

The superintendent informed that the contract period was again extended to another 60 days.

The employees have submitted a petition to district collector S Sambasiva Rao to reconsider the decision. On Thursday, medical students from the college also took out a procession in solidarity with the contract workers, who are protesting in front of the college gate.

“We applied after reading a newspaper advertisement seeking staff for fever ward. There were only 12 of us in the beginning, though 36 candidates were selected, when the permanent staff went on a mass leave fearing Nipah. This included four nurses, five nursing assistants and three cleaning staff. More workers were recruited, without even checking the documents, because the hospital was in crisis due to staff shortage,” said Mini T, convener of the temporary staff action committee.

“There were also attempts to recruit more staff after the Nipah, but keeping all of us away. When we came to know that outside candidates will get into the list, we protested and that move was thwarted. However, this is grave injustice, ignoring our service during a crucial time. The world called us heroes, but even our jobs were not saved,” added Mini.

The superintendent said he did not have the power to make permanent appointments in the hospital, but made an offer to allocate 20 per cent of the vacancies to them when the next list of contract staff was notified.

He said only one contract staff approached him when the list for Jan-March was already published and she was promised to be included in the next list.

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