AIIMS nurses union calls off protest, administration agrees to meet demands

New Delhi [India] June 10 (ANI): The nurses union of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi has called off its agitation after hospital administration agreed to fulfill the demands of striking nurses.

For the last one week, the nurses have been protesting for better facilities at the workplace amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Agitating nurses had threatened to go on mass casual leave on Wednesday and an indefinite strike from June 15.

Harish Kajla, President of AIIMS Nurses Union, said that AIIMS Director, Medical Superintendent and Deputy Director Administration called them for a meeting and discussed issues pertaining to nurses.

"Now that administration has agreed to fulfil all our grievances, the nurses union has withdrawn their protest. We have decided to call off our mass casual leave protest as per the request made by the administration," he said.

Kajla said that the administration has agreed that six-hourly shifts shall be maintained in the COVID area, which would include the time for donning/doffing of PPE and handover/takeover in the wards by the nursing personnel.

"Rosters shall be prepared two weeks in advance to ensure appropriate deployment ensuring proper patient care and also improving the working conditions. It was decided that an additional 100 nursing personnel will be provided to the JPNATC (COVID-19) hospital to cope with the patient care," said Kajla.

He said that administration has agreed that apex trauma centre and other COVID-19 areas shall make necessary arrangement of drinking water and electrolyte in the donning and doffing areas.

According to the minutes of meetings, it was also decided to provide appropriate breaks to the nurses i.e. 25 per cent of the nursing staff deployed in the COVID-19 area shall be rotated to the non-COVID areas every two weeks.

"Process of allotment of temporary accommodation for staff on COVID duty in the Powergrid Vishram Sadan shall be simplified by authorising the DNS concerned to certify the duty period as per roster on the application form. The transport section shall make arrangements of a vehicle-on-call for parikrama seva between 11 pm to 6 am for nursing staff for transportation between the main hospital and Powergrid Vishrarn Sadan," read the minutes of the meeting.

"The hospital infection control committee shall examine all the donning and doffing areas of the institute and recommend appropriate action for strengthening them keeping in view increasing workload and appropriate infection control", it said.

AIIMS New Delhi has about 5,500 nurses. (ANI)