Feeling Bad for Patients, We’re Helpless: AIIMS Nurses on Strike

Services have been interrupted due to the strike after AIIMS administration and health dept refused their demands.

2 min read

Video Producer: Shohini Bose

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Nurses’ Union in Delhi is on indefinite strike since Monday, 14 December, over redressal of their demands, including those related to the 6th Central Pay Commission.

Services have been interrupted due to the strike after AIIMS administration and health department refused their demands.

“Our Union is ready for talks with the administration. We are feeling bad for patients but we’re helpless as our demands haven’t been met. We had given notice for strike a month ago but even then the administration didn’t listen to our demands,” ANI quoted AIIMS Nurses Union President as saying.

On Monday, the Director of AIIMS, Dr Randeep Guleria, had requested the Nurses’ Union to “not go on strike and come back and work and help us get through the pandemic.”

“It's unfortunate the union has gone on a strike now, only a few months from when a vaccine will provide the solution.” he said, adding, "The nurses' union had put in 23 demands. Almost all the demands have been met by the AIIMS administration and the government.”

AIIMS Delhi to Outsource Nursing Services

Meanwhile, AIIMS-Delhi has decided to outsource the nursing services on a contractual basis. The decision was taken in a meeting attended by Chairman, Director, Deputy Director, senior faculty of the AIIMS administration, reported news agency ANI.

“We had no plans for outsourcing nurses. It was only when they (Nurse Union) decided to go on strike and didn't listen to us, we made contingency plans in the last 2 days. According to them, neither they will work nor allow anyone else to work,” statement issued by AIIMS-Delhi.

The Health Ministry has also directed that there should be “no cessation or disruption of nursing functions in AIIMS nor such an action aided or abetted.”

“It's hereby directed that AlIMS Delhi should ensure that the directions of the Delhi High Court are strictly complied with without fail," Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Health Ministry, said.

Delhi Nurses Federation Extend Support

Delhi Nurses Federation has also extended support to the ongoing indefinite strike.

On Monday afternoon, around 5,000 nurses of AIIMS declared the indefinite strike after the premier health institute converted the role of employment from permanent to contract basis. The strike was scheduled to be observed from Wednesday, 16 December.

According to IANS, the nurses were assured by the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in a meeting held last year that their salary would be restructured as per the Sixth Pay Commission, which is yet to be done by the administration.

In response to the strike, the AIIMS administration has directed its faculty members and staff not to cease work, shout slogans, hold demonstrations or meetings within the campus or around 500 meters of a radius of the institute's boundary.

(With inputs from IANS and ANI)

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