Nurses’ strike: AIIMS may curtail its emergency services

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) may curtail its emergency services in view of the indefinite strike declared by the nursing staff of the medical institute, the senior officials of the hospital informed IANS.

A high level meeting between top officials of the premier medical institute of the country, including its Director Randeep Guleria was underway at the time of this report.

The emergency services at the premier hospital have taken a hit and critical care patients have been abandoned in view of ongoing strike.

DK Sharma, Medical Superintendent (MS) told IANS that to control the situation, the administration has asked all the junior, resident and senior doctors to double up for the nurses who are currently on agitation against a long list of demands, including clarity on salary structure and a freeze on hiring on contract.

Around 5,000 nurses of AIIMS are on an indefinite strike since Monday afternoon against the hospital’s decisions to enroll nursing officers on contractual payroll.

The nurses’ union’s demands include correction of an anomaly in the fixation of the initial pay as per the Sixth Central Pay Commission (CPC), redressal of issues such as abolishment of gender-based reservation in the recruiting process of nursing officers and contractual appointments, enhancement of hospital accommodation and cadre restructuring.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) has directed the hospital administration to end the ongoing strike immediately, citing a Delhi High Court order passed on May 20, 2002, where a code of conduct was put in place by the court, which forbids any staff or faculty member of the AIIMS to disrupt services “for any reason whatsoever”.

In a late-evening order issued on Monday, the ministry had also threatened that non-compliance of its direction would be treated as an offence and action against the violators would be taken as per the law.

To contain further participation in the nurses’ strike, the AIIMS administration on Monday had directed its faculty members and staff not to cease work, shout slogans, hold demonstrations or meetings within the campus or around 500 meters of radius of the institute’s boundary.