Private hospitals and nursing homes on Tuesday opposed in the Delhi high court an AAP government order directing them to comply with an expert panel’s recommendation to pay minimum wage of Rs 20,000 to nurses, saying it would “render their business unviable”.

The petition, by an association representing healthcare providers in the country, came up for hearing before a bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar which had recently said that healthcare “has become lucrative business”.

The court had made the observation while hearing a PIL alleging that nurses were being financially exploited in private hospitals and nursing homes in the national Capital. The court could not take up the association’s plea on Tuesday due to paucity of time and listed it for hearing on August 10.

The association has contended that the June 25 order by the Delhi government’s Directorate General of Health Services, under the garb of seeking compliance with the expert committee’s recommendations, was in effect revising the minimum wages of the nurses employed in private hospitals and nursing homes.

The petition has said that the Delhi government neither heard the private health care providers before taking the decision nor did it appreciate that their “business will be rendered unviable” if the wages of the nurses were increased according to the committee’s recommendations.

“The impugned order (of June 25), therefore, has the effect of rendering the business of the petitioner unviable insofar as it will have the repercussion of inflating the wage bill for nurses by at least two to three times,” the petition said.

First Published: Aug 08, 2018 03:49 IST

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