The AIIMS Nurses’ Union Monday launched a protest outside the Director’s office, saying they were “extremely disturbed and dismayed” by the “state of affairs” in the hospital due to Covid-19 and the apathy of the administration towards their demands.
The Union had earlier written to the AIIMS director on May 29, enlisting their demands and had threatened protests from June 1 if they were not met. Fundamental among the demands are the implementation of a uniform four-hour duty with PPE in Covid areas; uniform rotation policy between Covid and non-Covid areas; establishment of proper feedback system for healthcare workers; refreshment after doffing; establishment of proper donning and doffing area; parikarma seva (shuttle service) during night shift; and provision of ambulance facility for Covid screening/Covid positive staff.
“We want to serve the country at this time of crisis, so only the executive committee members — roughly around 20 — are protesting… 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 AIIMS Nurses’ Union general secretary Fameer C K.
Sree Vijaya, a nurse who has done continuous shifts in the Covid-19 ICU, said: “On a normal day, we change sanitary pads every four hours, now it’s not possible. We wear adult diapers but it is still very uncomfortable. Fatigue and weakness are common. Some of my colleagues have even fainted while on their period. We can’t even take a break.”
A senior AIIMS official said the nurses’ demands are unreasonable.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines