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Nurses take to the streets in India's central Madhya Pradesh State on Monday. They want better pay and working conditions.
Nurses in state-run hospitals of India's central Madhya Pradesh State went on strike on Monday, greatly hampering medical services in the provincial capital Bhopal as well as Gwalior City. The nurses mainly want a salary increase and better working conditions.
Outside the main government hospital in Bhopal, nurse protesters shout slogans against the government.
[Manju, President, Bhopal Nurses' Association]:
"The government has not shown any sympathy towards us. Their decision is not acceptable to us. We are requesting them to sort this issue or else after seven days, all the nurses from every corner of the state would be on the roads."
Patients were taken by surprise and bore the brunt of the strike.
The government is taking measures to get additional nurses in the hospital.
[Narendra Hardia, State Health Minister]:
"We have taken strict steps to deal with the strike. We have asked the Health Department to arrange for additional staff so that the medical services are not affected. We are also asking the final year nursing students for help."
The state government has invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act on nursing services for three months, which requires nurses to report for work as usual.