KANNUR / T’PURAM / KOCHI: The 20-day-old strike of nurses in Kerala put the state government in a tricky position. With hospitals across the state overcrowded by fever patients, the LDF has urged the government to take immediate steps to resolve the ongoing agitation.
Meanwhile, the nursing students at Pariyaram Medical College in Kannur refused to abide by the District Collector’s order directing nursing students to report for duty in view of the nurses strike. The students launched a strike on the campus protesting against the order that warned the students of disciplinary action extending to dismissal from the course if they fail to attend duty.
“We are ready to work at Pariyaram Medical College, if an emergency situation arises. But we cannot work for private hospitals,” said United Nursing Students’ Association chairman Anoop Joseph. “We will continue our protest till a decision is taken,” he said.
More than 1,300 nurses from nine private hospitals in Kannur have been protesting demanding hike in their salary for the past 20 days. The shortage of staff has affected the functioning of private hospitals.
According to Deputy Medical Officer M K Shaj an average of 1,800 to 2,000 fever cases are reported in the district. This is the case of government hospitals. The figure may double if the number of patients approaching private hospitals is considered.
However, District Medical Officer Narayanan Naik claimed the move to deploy nursing students in hospitals overcrowded by fever patients has yielded positive results. Students of nine nursing colleges in the district have reported for duty on Monday.
The move to deploy nursing students in hospitals to tide over the crisis has drawn flak from the medical fraternity. Terming it a risky misadventure, Indian Medical Association state president V G Pradeep Kumar said the deployment of nursing students will invite legal consequences.
Pay rise will affect financial health, say hospitals
A day after the nurses rejected their offer to adhere to the government directive on the revised minimum wages, the private hospital managements have said any further increase in basic pay will put severe strain on their financial health.