SPS Hospital nursing staff strike work, oppose roster

SPS Hospital nursing staff strike work, oppose roster

Nurses stage a protest at SPS Hospital in Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune Photo: Himashu Mahajan

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9

Nurses of SPS Hospital are up in arms against the hospital administration for not paying heed to their demands. Since the entire nursing staff was on strike, no new patient was admitted to the hospital.

One of staff nurses said their duty roster was earlier prepared by their department but this time it was prepared by the HR Department. Now, they have been given two duties in the morning, two in the evening and two at night. Besides, there is again morning duty after their day off.

Social distancing gone for a toss

During the protest, no social distancing was maintained by the agitating nurses. Although police officials requested them to maintain social distance, they did not budge.

Patients baffled

Patients admitted to the hospital were baffled as there was no nurse on duty. One of the patients, who was turned back by the hospital authorities due to strike, said it was difficult times, and the nurses should have agitated in a peaceful manner instead.

“We talked to the hospital administration and demanded that our roster be prepared on the earlier pattern. The roster was prepared again by the HR Department but it was not according to the earlier rosters,” she said.

The agitating nurses said they were neither paid extra nor given increments. They hospital authorities said they were going through a crisis due to Covid and it was not possible to give increments to the staff.

The staff said the arrival of patients had doubled. “Two staff members have been taking care of 15 patients in the ICU and still, the hospital is not ready to pay them extra. Many staff members have contracted infection. They, however, have recovered and joined back duty. We are not running away from our duty but we should be paid accordingly and duties must be assigned as earlier,” said the nurses.

The nursing staff did not attend to any patient today.

Dr Jatinder Arora, Chief Operating Officer of SPS Hospital, said they had promised the district administration to increase the bed capacity for Covid patients from 50 to 75 as the number of patients in the district was increasing.

“We had changed the rosters keeping these extra beds in view. Since the nursing staff were not understanding the seriousness of the situation, we involved the district administration. The officials had a word with the protesting staff. They have been asked to give the names of 50 nurses who will be ready to do duty in the Covid ward. We were left with no other option but to send back patients, as we were out of nursing staff today,” he said.

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