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Sunday, February 28, 2021

As Covid cases drop, PCMC sacks 500 Covid warrior doctors, nurses and wardboys

"We have terminated the services of at least 500 doctors, nurses and ward boys who were recruited six months back," Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar told this paper on Friday.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: February 12, 2021 7:10:51 pm
The PCMC chief said the drastic drop in COVID-19 cases was the main reason for discontinuing the services of the temporary staff taken on contract.

The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has terminated the services of 500 doctors, nurses and ward boys who were recruited on temporary basis when Covid-19 cases were surging in the industrial city in June-July. The sacked Covid warriors have demanded that their services be restored on temporary basis.

“We have terminated the services of at least 500 doctors, nurses and ward boys who were recruited six months back,” Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar told The Indian Express on Friday.

Hardikar said these 500 were recruited on temporary basis for a period of six months. “We had given them one-month extension till January 31 and after that their services have been terminated,” he said.

The PCMC chief said the drastic drop in Covid-19 cases was the main reason for discontinuing the services of the temporary staff. “When Pimpri-Chinchwad had seen a surge in Covid-19 cases, we needed additional staff to handle the patients at our Covid Care Centres and hospitals. Therefore, we had carried out the recruitments on temporary basis only for six months,” he said.

As per the rule, the PCMC chief said, if a temporary staff puts in 240 days of work, he or she has to be made permanent. “We cannot afford to make such large number of staff permanent in our services. As it is, out of 22 Covid Care Centres, only one is currently functioning. At YCM Hospital, too, there are fewer Covid-19 patients,” the civic chief said.

Meanwhile, those whose services were terminated held a protest outside PCMC headquarters on Friday afternoon. Subash Gaikwad, an entreprenuer, who was working as a ward boy with PCMC’s Bhosari hospital, said, “We are demanding that our services be restored temporarily. We are not demanding permanent jobs. There are at least 540 doctors, nurses and ward boys who have been sacked by the PCMC. We worked as Covid warriors unmindful of the risk to our lives. Now when Covid situation has improved, PCMC has thrown us out. This means when you are in trouble, you need our services. And when your are safe, you will throw us out. This is an injustice to those who put everything at stake to serve Covid-19 patients.”

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Gaikwad was admitted to Bhosari hospital after he was tested positive for coronavirus infection last year. After recovering, he decided to serve the Covid-19 patients in Bhosari hospital as a ward boy.

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