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‘How will we work if we aren’t healthy’, AIIMS Nurses’ Union protests against management

In a letter to the AIIMS' director on 29 May, the Union said it was 'extremely disturbed and dismayed' by the hospital's 'state of affairs' during the pandemic.

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New Delhi: The AIIMS Nurses’ Union continued its protest outside the director’s office for the second day Tuesday against the facility’s “state of affairs” due to Covid-19 and the management’s apathy to their demands.

“We have been facing a lot of health problems, including issues related to menstruation, urinary tract infection, weight loss etc. If the healthcare workers are not healthy, then how will they do their job. This is not a fight that will end any time soon,” Harish Kumar Kajla, president of the AIIMS Nurses’ Union told ThePrint.

The Union, which had written a letter enlisting their demands to the AIIMS’ director on 29 May, began its protest Monday.

In the letter, the Union said it was “extremely disturbed and dismayed” by the hospital’s circumstances during the pandemic. It also noted that “the attitude and response from certain administrators are totally unbecoming of their position”.

Among the demands asked by the Union include implementation of uniform four-hour duty with PPE in Covid areas, a uniform rotation policy between Covid and non-Covid spaces, a proper feedback system for healthcare workers and establishment of proper donning and doffing areas.

“Our administration has decided nurses have to do six hours of duty in PPE for 22 days with just eight offs. This is impossible, especially for women colleagues on their menstrual cycle,” said Fameer C.K, general secretary of the AIIMS Nurses’ Union.

Over 200 healthcare workers, including two faculty, 10 resident doctors and 26 nurses have been infected by the novel coronavirus so far.

ThePrint tried reaching out to the public relations officer of AIIMS via text messages and calls but was yet to get a response till the time of publishing this report.

Also read: Delhi AIIMS tests popular cancer drug to see if it can prevent mild Covid from getting severe

‘Administration failed to act for two months’

The Union said that while it has been raising its concerns at the task force meeting every morning they have been to no avail.

“The administration has had over two months to figure out a smooth process but they haven’t done anything to help our case. We are not slaves,” Kajla said.

Kajla also maintained that the protest will go on till their demands are met. He also said only the Union’s executive committee members were protesting to ensure the hospital’s services did not get affected.

“We are coming here and protesting after finishing our shifts in the Covid-19 area to ensure patient care is not affected.”

Also read: 58-year-old sanitation supervisor at AIIMS dies after testing positive for Covid-19


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