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Nursing staff goes on strike at AIIMS, Bathinda

AIIMS, Bathinda executive director Dr DK Singh said disciplinary action would be initiated against the protesters according to the rules for an attempt to cripple the patient care facility.

Health services at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here were hit partially on Wednesday after the nursing staff launched an indefinite strike to push for their demands.

The protesting staff stayed out of the out-patient department (OPDs) while nurses reported to work in the emergency ward and intensive care unit (ICU).

Institute management said as most of the staff was off work, a contingency plan has been prepared and the final year nursing students would be engaged from Thursday for smooth functioning of the various departments.

Authorities alleged the protesters were obstructing the activities of the healthcare institute and holding protest in a residential zone for AIIMS staff. Their demands have been sent to the Union health ministry for consideration, officials said.

AIIMS has about 580 nursing officers who have been protesting since November 25, seeking implementation of eight monthly off days, promotions and the withdrawal of an order to enhance their probation period, besides other demands.

On Wednesday, the nursing staff gathered outside the main entrance of the institute on Bathinda’s periphery and raised slogans against the institute management. They alleged that the AIIMS authorities were not listening to their grievances and threatened to intensify the agitation.

AIIMS, Bathinda executive director Dr DK Singh said disciplinary action would be initiated against the protesters according to the rules for an attempt to cripple the patient care facility.

“There is no violation of any service rule meant for the institute staff, including the nursing officers. The agitation lacks justification as there is no rule to grant leave against duty to staff members on the night shift. There is no truth in the claims that any of the protesting staff have been suspended,” he added.

Doctors said they faced problems in handling the patients as the institute has an estimated daily footfall of over 3,000.

AIIMS spokesperson Dr Tarun Goyal said the executive director and medical superintendent met the protesting staff and apprised them that their demands could be considered only at the ministry level.

“Under the AIIMS Bathinda service rules, there is no provision of eight monthly offs. Construction of several buildings was hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which delayed the upcoming hospital. The nursing staff could not fulfil their probation period as the hospital was not completely functional and the period was enhanced to fulfil the guidelines,” the spokesperson added. Hindustan Times

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