Updated: August 7, 2020 2:38:11 pm
Nurses and health workers at the Aditya Birla Hospital in Chinchwad staged a protest on Thursday and levelled a series of allegations against the hospital management.
Accusing the hospital management of causing mental harassment of employees, the nurses alleged that they were being made to overwork by trampling upon government norms and attempts were being made to intimidate them through bouncers.
The nurses claimed that hospital doctors were also under pressure as one doctor was asked to handle 55 patients on an average.
The nurses alleged that housekeeping staff are also made to wear nurses’ outfits, to make local residents think they were nurses. “We are being made to work 12-hour shifts instead of the six hours as mandated by the government. When the health staff gets infected, there is no separate quarantine facility for them. All of them are made to stay in a congested mess,” they alleged.
In a statement, Rekha Dubey, CEO of Aditya Birla Hospital, said, “They don’t want to work, which is their right, and we cannot force anyone to work. We are figuring out alternatives … we are under the MESMA Act and nurses and doctors can’t go on any agitation. The hospital has treated over 1,000 Covid patients so far.”
Regarding the allegations that the health staff was being made to work overtime, Dubey said, “The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, be it people locked down at home or healthcare workers, police officials and other Covid fighters working at the forefront to control the pandemic. Doctors are giving more than 100 per cent to save every patient’s life, and we appreciate their hard work.”
Responding to allegations about lack of quarantine facilities, Dubey said, “We have our own residential complex of three acres, where we have adequate rooms for quarantining doctors, and we also have a separate place for nurses in the hostel.”
Regarding the demand for salary hike, Dubey said, “Every year, there is an increment in the month of July. On similar lines in July this year, we did the same. Plus we did market correction also… that means they got almost a double increment. The whole healthcare industry is under recession and very few organisations have done this. We are one of them. Also, we were the ones who started giving Covid allowances from April onwards…”.
“Everybody is stretching duty hours and society is looking at us as healthcare providers… who will take care of the patients? We have already reduced the timing to six hours and the PPEs are also safe… so there is no reason for them to be upset. More than 36 nurses who were infected got admitted and were treated by us,” said Dubey.
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