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AIIMS: Nurse union goes on an indefinite strike

NEW DELHI, DEC 15: The indefinite strike which was to start from 16th December began on Monday curtailing the emergency services leaving many patients without staff. The union is discontented over the non-consideration of their demands by the AIIMS administration as well as the health ministry. The Major demands includes, with regards to the Sixth Pay Commission’s Payouts, abolishment of contractual recruitment and gender-based reservations for the nursing staff, enhancement of hospital accommodation and cadre restructuring.

In response the Director of the AIIMS, Professor Randeep Guleria, appealed to the Nurse Union to not take such extreme steps during the crucial time of pandemic. He contends that all their 23 demands have been considered. He pled that the year 2020 has been declared as the year of nurse and midwife, by WHO, commemorating the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale and that a true nurse would never abandon the patient and the health care workers who are now admitted due to COVID-19 crises.  The Union Health Secretary, evoking the Disaster Management Act and Indian Penal Code, said that termination of health services on the part of the health care workers would culminate to offences and actions would be taken accordingly.

A spokesperson of the Nurse Union told NDTV that the union has been making these demands from a long time, only to find them being procrastinated indefinitely. Speaking to NDTV, Fameer CK, the General Secretary of the Nurse Union said “Till recently, we were told our demands were being considered. Key among them were Sixth Pay Commission’s  payouts and hiring of the contractual workers. Now we’ve been informed that interviews were just held today to recruit contractual workers.”

While the Nurse Union is adamant to stay on an indefinite strike until all their demands are considered by the AIIMS authorities and the government, the Director of AIIMS, Professor Randeep Guleria hopes to settle this dispute  amicably with the immediate return of the Nurse staff to work.