The ongoing strike by nursing students of Osmania General Hospital (OGH) entered the fifth day on Monday without any official assurance from the hospital administration on their demands.
The nursing students are protesting the proposal of shifting the hostel and School of Nursing from the OGH premises to a temporary location in Bandlaguda during the construction of a five storeyed facility for inpatients on the premises.
Around 240 nursing students of General Nursing and Midwifery, including 10 male nurses and 150 students of B.Sc nursing have been agitating and have threatened to conduct indefinite hunger strike if the official apathy continues.
The strike has severely crippled the facilities at the hospital, where a senior nurse and a student nurse are in-charge of a 60-bed ward. The absence of interns as well as students has led to a staff crunch as the hospital has only one-third of the required number of nursing staff. The nursing interns of GNM course are recruited on special duties during festivals and emergency situations, manning nearly eight wards on their own.
“The hospital runs on the efforts put in by the students of both medical and nursing faculties. Even during the Dilsukhnagar blast we worked without a break and yet there is no one to hear our demands,” said A. Bhargava Rani, an intern from Anantapur.
The hostel for the nursing students on the premises lacks basic amenities with no security personnel or warden appointed to stay at the hostel. The senior students have been in-charge of the hostel and complaint of lapses of security and multiple theft attempts within the premises.
“The students are sent on three shifts a day in rotation and there is only one bus with an appointed driver to ferry us. Even the Indian Nursing Council (INC) rules indicate that the School of Nursing should be located within the hospital premises,” said Ammajan Sk, a nursing intern. She added that as most of the students come from economically weaker sections, staying on the campus adds to their advantage as a sick member can be immediately ferried to the outpatient ward nearby and shifting them far away from the premises will only icrease their problems.
“Neither the superintendent of the hospital nor the Director of Medical Education (DME) have bothered to speak to us over the past five days, though we have submitted representations to both. The location of the new hostel has not been declared in the blueprint for the construction of new blocks at the hospital,” added another nursing student.
In a meeting with the superintendent of the hospital and principal of School of Nursing on Monday, the DME discussed the proposed structure and temporary arrangements.
“The new hostel will be constructed adjacent to that of the PG-residents’ hostel. Meanwhile, temporary arrangements will be made to shift the students and we are still scouting for locations and the construction of a new hostel will take time. The new hostel will be constructed over an area of 1.20 lakh square feet,” said Dr K Vishnu Prasad, DME.