AIIMS nurses body calls off strike

New Delhi, Jun 9 () The AIIMS Nurses' Union called off their nine-day protest over poor working conditions amid the COVID-19 crisis on Tuesday, stating that the administration has agreed to most of their demands.

Several healthcare workers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have been infected by the disease with around 50 of them being nursing staff, sources said.

The nurses' body had put forth a number of demands, including implementation of a uniform four-hour shift with personal protective equipment (PPE) in COVID-19 areas of the hospital, a uniform rotation policy between COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 areas, and establishment of proper donning and doffing area.

They had also warned off an indefinite strike from June 15 if their demands were not met. Advertisement

According to the minutes of the meeting chaired by the Director, AIIMS on Tuesday, it has been decided that six-hour shifts shall be maintained in the COVID-19 area, which would include the time for donning/doffing of PPE and handover/takeover in the wards by the nursing personnel.

It was also decided to provide appropriate breaks and that 25 per cent of the nursing staff deployed in the COVID-19 area shall be rotated to the non-COVID-19 areas every two weeks.

"It was also accepted that given the daily increase in patient load, there may come a time when a large part of the entire institute will have to be converted into a COVID-19 hospital and deployment of nursing as well as other staff will have to be increased as would the working hours to meet the challenge.
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"It was also agreed that given the working conditions in the COVID-19 areas, efforts should be made to further improve upon them through appropriate framing of duty roster, providing basic amenities etc," the minutes of the meeting read.

It has also been decided that additional 100 nursing personnel will be provided to the AIIMS Trauma Centre which is a dedicated COVID-19 hospital to cope with the patient care. "The process of allotment of temporary accommodation for staff on COVID-19 duty in the Powergrid Vishram Sadan shall be simplified and the transport section shall make arrangements of a vehicle-on-call from 11 pm to 6 am for nursing staff for movement between the main hospital and The Powergrid Vishram Sadan," the minutes said. Advertisement

The AIIMS Trauma Centre and other COVID-19 areas shall make necessary arrangements of drinking water, electrolyte etc in the donning and doffing areas.

Besides the Hospital Infection Control Committee will also examine all the donning and doffing areas of the institute and recommend appropriate action for strengthening them, keeping in view increasing work load and appropriate infection control.

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